Northern Gas Pipeline begins construction
Work on the Northern Gas Pipeline, which spans 622 kilometres between Tennant Creek, in the Northern Territory, and Mount Isa in Queensland, is well underway with a number of local and Indigenous businesses winning work packages via ICN Gateway.
In late 2015, the Northern Territory Government selected Jemena to build, own and operate the pipeline; and design, approvals and construction planning works began.
The NGP consists of a 622km high-pressure buried gas pipeline, two gas compression facilities – one in the NT and the other in Qld – as well as mid-line facilities such as cathodic protection stations and scraper stations.
Once the project is completed, it will connect gas fields in the Northern Territory with customers in the Eastern Gas Market and play a crucial role in securing Australia’s supply of natural gas.
Jemena’s Northern Gas Pipeline project director Jonathan Spink said Jemena would be able to quickly scale-up the NGP to deliver up to or beyond 700 terajoules of gas per day to the east coast, dependent on demand.
In June this year, Jemena awarded McConnell Dowell the construction contract to build 481km of pipeline, predominately in the NT.
McConnell Dowell has committed to maximising local and Indigenous participation during construction of the project, and will be using ICN Gateway and ICNNT’s established local business networks to identify suppliers and subcontractors.
‘With such a major project, there have been opportunities for local companies to take advantage of during the planning phase which finished earlier this year and now the construction phase. Everything from design work, environmental approvals expertise, social and economic impact services, civil construction, concrete supply, helicopters, through to hire cars, accommodation, waste management and water supply. We expect further local opportunities through the commissioning and operation phase starting late next year,’ ICN NT consultant David Royle said.
Northern Territory Resources Minister Ken Vowles said the project was one of the Northern Territory Government’s key platforms for the development of Tennant Creek as a mining services centre for the Territory and to develop the North.
‘The construction of the Northern Gas Pipeline will underpin jobs, investment and development in the region for years to come, with approximately 900 jobs generated during construction alone,’ he said.
The Northern Gas Pipeline project was, in fact, a driver behind ICN’s decision last year to open an office in Alice Springs, hiring Central Australian Regional Manager Jennes (Jay) Walker as a show of faith in the future of the local economy.
Meanwhile, Spiecapag has started work on the remote Queensland section of the pipeline. Camooweal-based Indigenous contractor Myuma Group started the works to upgrade access tracks. Main pipeline construction works began in late August, working from the west towards Mount Isa. About 220 people will be employed in the construction phase and a construction camp to house workers is now in use.
The first gas is scheduled to flow through the new Northern Gas Pipeline in late 2018.