The ability to work flexibility within a quarantined environment is helping Hertel to deliver insulation, corrosion protection and fireproofing to pre- assembled racks and equipment for the world’s largest natural gas project – the Gorgon Project – at Barrow Island in Western Australia.
The first phase of work is being carried out at the Australian Marine Complex (AMC), near Fremantle, which is a staging post for Gorgon. Here, equipment such as cryogenic heat exchangers, propane coolers and regenerators, which have been fabricated in various fabrication yards around the world, are prepared with insulation, cladding and corrosion protection ready to be moved in to position on the LNG site at Barrow Island.
Hertel won the A$90 million three-year contract last year for the work at the Chevron-operated Gorgon Project which will, when complete, produce 15 million tonne per annum (MTPA) of LNG and have a gas plant capable of supplying 300 terrajoules a day of gas to Western Australia.
Allan Hollington, who leads Hertel’s LNG Competence Centre is based in Perth, Western Australia, where he oversees technical aspects of the project. “The team we have working on Gorgon is drawing upon its experience of working on large high-profile LNG projects in Australia, south east Asia, the Middle East and Europe to meet the unique challenges of Gorgon.”
Hertel has built a dedicated insulation and cladding fabrication facility in Perth, Western Australia, to service the Gorgon project. The state-of-the-art facilities have been designed to allow the company to meet the stringent quarantine guidelines that are laid down for Barrow Island, which is a Class A nature reserve.
Allan adds: “The workshop includes a CNC fast wire precision cutting machine which converts PIR insulation from block into pipe sections and vessel lags. The workshop also produces cladding and ancillary items that are needed to complete the specialist insulation systems installed on the equipment at the AMC. This workshop will also fabricate insulation and cladding for the work to be undertaken on Barrow Island.
“Once prepared the insulation items are sealed to ensure they are ‘clean’ and the packages despatched. We have to be flexible with this and work closely with the main contractor KBR to ensure that the material is sent to site in a timely manner to ensure the most efficient installation.”
There are currently around 20 experienced insulation, fireproofing and corrosion specialists on site at AMC to prepare and install the insulation and cladding for the equipment from the kits provided by the fabrication workshop.
Before Hertel starts any work on site, it has agreed management plans with the main contractor on site. These include safety, quality assurance, quarantine, environmental, hazardous material handling and traffic management plans.
Once the work is complete the racks and units are prepared to be moved by sea to Barrow Island. Before starting the journey they are once again checked and secured for quarantine.
Hertel has also been involved working with CB&I who are building the storage tanks for Gorgon. The tanks are being pre-fabricated in modular form in Thailand and Hertel is applying PIR insulation and stainless steel cladding to the large diameter riser and associated pipes prior to being shipped to Western Australia.
The work Hertel is involved in will move to Barrow Island in mid-2013 once all the pre-assembled units are installed and to complete the insulating, corrosion protection and fireproofing of all the connections to ensure full integrity.
Allan says: “When we move up to Barrow Island we will significantly increase our workforce drawing not only from our team in Australia but also colleagues from Hertel from around the world who have the experience of working on LNG projects.
“The logistics planning for this phase is already underway to ensure the right skills are available. Experience gained, particularly of working in the quarantined environment will also be transferred from the AMC to the island.”
Simon Kramer, Hertel’s Regional Managing Director Asia Pacific, adds: “The contract at Gorgon is a major milestone for Hertel in the region. It was awarded to us based upon our strength and the depth of experience in cryogenic insulation and fireproofing applications and the strong safety culture we have.
“As well as our base in Australia we have operations throughout the Asia Pacific region, including Thailand, Singapore, China and Malaysia. The strength of this geographic footprint provides flexibility for our customers, be that simultaneous or sequential involvement in their projects in the major module fabrication yards throughout the region, and our proven ability to mobilise large teams of skilled, experienced and safety conscious professionals.”
Hertel, October 8, 2012