AS PART of their course, and with $75 in their pockets, Energy Apprentices Group trainees have designed and built three-dimensional models of Curtis Island’s LNG plants.

The first batch of trainees to complete the project, they unveiled their models in front of a crowd of gas-company personnel, who were reminded, jokingly, that the trainees managed to build their models on time and on budget.

This prompted one man to say under his breath:

“They obviously didn’t have Bechtel doing the job.”

When the team of EAG trainees revealed their model of the QGC plant and pointed to the flare stacks, the same man said, “yeah, sorry about that”.

CAPTIVE AUDIENCE: The crowd turns to listen to EAG trainees present their model and designs.
CAPTIVE AUDIENCE: The crowd turns to listen to EAG trainees present their model and designs. Declan Cooley

But it was a light-hearted affair and the trainees had clearly done a top job and knew their stuff.

Each trainee gave the crowd a brief description of the plants and explained the process from when the coal-seam gas arrived to when it was turned into liquefied natural gas and shipped off.

EAG training coordinator Karen Bellert said the project was designed to be an exercise in team building.

Cally Rudwick and Nyarla Johnson, who worked on the QGC model, said it was great to visit the plant.

“It helped to work together and brainstorm ideas,” Ms Rudwick said.

“(The traineeship) is really good because everyone is from such diverse backgrounds and have worked in different jobs and had different mindsets.”

Ms Rudwick said the reason she had signed up to EAG’s traineeship program was to acquire a job that would be secure going into the future.

Ms Bellert said while the trainees were not guaranteed jobs at the end of the two-year course it put them in a better position than most to get work with the gas companies.

But with low gas prices, a worldwide LNG glut and gas-guzzling countries such as Japan and Korea recording a drop in the amount of Australian LNG they import, getting a job on Curtis Island may be easier said than done.

In a bid to save its share price, which has tumbled from $15 to $4.71, Santos cut 825 jobs in the 18 months to May.

Citi analyst Dale Koenders told the Australian Financial Review he anticipated a further round of redundancies in August.

“Citi is expecting great strides on costs, including a potential 50% reduction in coal-seam-gas well costs at Santos’ GLNG project now in production in Gladstone,” it was reported.

“Operating costs at GLNG and the Cooper could also fall by at least 25%.”

This means more jobs could be on the line at GLNG.

An announcement on Santos’ plans will likely be made next month.



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