Design commenced with pipeline design consultancy, OSD Energy Services, in Q1 2005 to support front-end and permitting activities, route selection and design of the pipe and station facilities. Clear and grade commenced on 24 August 2005 to ensure the collection of artefacts and environmental controls were appropriately implemented along the route in advance of installation work.
During the initial planning phase, several options were investigated for housing the workforce. Tara was selected as the site for a 140-person camp, which was fabricated and installed ahead of schedule. The camp operated in complete harmony with the local community and the cooperative attitude of the people of Tara, local businesses and the Tara Shire Council were instrumental in achieving a first class result.
East Coast Pipeline & Welding commenced work in early October and averaged a welding production rate of 3 km per day - a great result considering in excess of 400 mm of rain fell during the last three months of 2005.
Numerous roads were traversed along the pipeline route including two State Controlled roads, the main arterials for the local communities. These were bored with casing pipes to minimise disruption to the local community. The pipeline route passed along 38 km of local shire road easements, with the majority of the pipeline safely located just outside the V-drain along the side of the road. An extensive road safety management strategy was undertaken which resulted in some 25 km of temporary road barrier being installed. Planning and attention to detail from the outset paid dividends, with no community incidents along the entirety of the pipeline route.
The DCVG survey was conducted in late December 2006 and returned a 100 per cent result. The right of way reinstatement was completed to a similar standard.
Fabrication of the CTMS piping was subcontracted to Dartbridge Welding. Hurricane Katrina in November disrupted delivery schedules but Dartbridge responded well by adapting their work to ensure the overall schedule was maintained. Fluid Controls of Brisbane kept the pressure on their manufacturing facility and despite a tight delivery schedule, completed the fabrication and testing prior to Christmas 2005.
Installation of the CTMS at Condamine and the manifold at Braemar was completed in January 2006 with Mechanical Completion achieved in early February 2006. First gas was introduced on 7 March 2006, almost 2 months ahead of schedule.
Tara township – community interaction
The project team spent almost six months living in the small regional centre of Tara, which has a population of approximately 1,000. The 140-person strong crew became part of the local community, representing almost 15 per cent of the town’s population. Project staff worked with the emergency services agencies and the local council to assist with the management of the issues directly related to the project and those in the wider community brought on by such a sudden influx of people. Over the course of the project, Leighton Contractors sponsored car rallies, assisted the fire brigade with putting out rural fires, conducted emergency drills, sponsored fireworks displays and generally lived as part of the local community. When you are a visitor to a small town, you may not know who everyone is, but everyone sure knows who you are!