The QCLNG site, including tanks and trains, as seen from the quarterly construction cruise on Gladstone harbour.
The QCLNG site, including tanks and trains, as seen from the quarterly construction cruise on Gladstone harbour. Mara Pattison-Sowden

200 curious passengers set sail to view work on LNG plants

GLADSTONE'S quarterly construction cruise is frequented by tourists and locals alike, all out to catch a glimpse of the growing LNG structures on Curtis Island.

While the APLNG site is 50 per cent complete, the first to begin - QCLNG - is in its commissioning phase with its flare tower set to be commissioned before the end of June.

Passengers enjoy the quarterly construction cruise on Gladstone harbour.
Passengers enjoy the quarterly construction cruise on Gladstone harbour. Mara Pattison-Sowden

The Observer caught up with some of the 200 passengers on board the Capricornian Spirit to find out why they were taking part.

Ian and Marcella Hain are two of the grey nomads, heading north for the winter from their hometown close to Sydney.

"We're travelling to Cairns with our caravan," Mr Hain said.

"Our grandson works on the island."

Mrs Hain said they were in Gladstone once before, 25 years ago.

"It wasn't like this - this is beautiful, the areas around the marina," she said.

Sharon Cooper is visiting from Emu Plains in New South Wales, and let out a quiet "Go Blues" for tonight's big game.

"I'm up here staying with my niece and great grandchildren and we're having a lovely time," she said.

"This is fabulous to me - being able to see what they're doing.

"It's very informative."

Mikaylah, 10, Shae-Leigh, 12, and Jorgiah, 1, enjoyed the construction cruise on Gladstone harbour.
Mikaylah, 10, Shae-Leigh, 12, and Jorgiah, 1, enjoyed the construction cruise on Gladstone harbour. Mara Pattison-Sowden

Great grandchildren Mikaylah and Shae-Leigh were having a ball, although they were disappointed they didn't get to see the baby whales spotted in the harbour on Monday.

Mikaylah, 10, got the window seat and was excited to see the island and how big everything was, while Shae-Leigh, 12, said she learnt about how many workers there were on site.

"And there are 10 per cent of women - that's cool!"

Richa Joshi has been living in Gladstone for six months, and said it was good timing the cruise was on while her family was visiting from India.

Rekha Srivastava, whose son is working on the island, said it was very educational to see how Bechtel was working, but she also gave them some suggestions.

The free tours run every second month from the Marina Ferry Terminal with the next on Friday, July 11.

Bookings are essential through the Gladstone Visitor Information Centre on 4972 9000 for an 8am departure.

Ian Plath, master, and Craig Hughes, engineers, steering the Transit Systems Capricornian Spirit for the quarterly construction cruise on Gladstone harbour.
Ian Plath, master, and Craig Hughes, engineers, steering the Transit Systems Capricornian Spirit for the quarterly construction cruise on Gladstone harbour. Mara Pattison-Sowden

AT A GLANCE

The cruise is a great way to get to know the rest of Gladstone, including:

  • The RG Tanna Coal Terminal and Wharf
  • The new Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal and Wharf
  • Rio Tinto Alcan's Yarwun site
  • Cement Australia
  • The East Shores redevelopment



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