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Workers take a raft around LNG tank filled with water

BOARD shorts and reef shoes aren't the usual Bechtel workwear, but the relaxed dress code didn't undermine the importance of the testing conducted inside the first of the QCLNG tanks on Curtis Island, Gladstone.

 A small group of employees, using inflatable boats inside the tank, performed a series of hydro tests and cleaning duties while the tank was slowly filled by sea water to test the integrity of the foundations.

It was another first for Bechtel's new tanks business, performing its first direct hire tank construction and testing.

The hydro test involved filling Tank B with seawater, up to the 19 metre mark (half way) over several days. It eventually held 94 million litres of water.

Once it reached the 19-metre mark, the water was allowed to sit for 24 hours to ensure the integrity of the tank foundations.

Members of the tanks team then worked around the clock to scrub the walls with 80,000 litres of fresh water as the tank was slowly drained.

Because of the type of work being conducted, access restrictions and the high humidity inside the tank, workers were allowed to swap their long pants, long sleeves and steel caps, for shorts, shirts and reef shoes.

The tank was the first of six under construction on Curtis Island to pass its first physical test.

Bechtel Gladstone general manager Kevin Berg said because of the critical role the tanks played in producing LNG, everyone had been watching how the company was performing the work.

Over the next five months the tanks teams will continue to prepare the tank in readiness for first LNG.

Once operational, the three projects combined will be able to store 880,000m3 of LNG in the six tanks at any one time, ready for shipment around the world.

The three plants on Curtis Island will produce more than 24 million tonnes of LNG from coal seam gas delivered to the plants from south-western Queensland.

FAST FACTS:

  • The tank is 48m high
  • Its inner diameter is 79m
  • 94 million litres of test water was used
  • It took 108 hours to fill the tank
  • It took 144 hours to drain it
Workers carry out tests inside one of the QCLNG tanks on Curtis Island.
Workers carry out tests inside one of the QCLNG tanks on Curtis Island. Contributed

Topics:  bechtel, curtis island, gas, gladstone, qclng, resources




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