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2017 Convention news from the papers

APGA’s 2017 Annual Convention and Exhibition is on at the Cairns Convention Centre until 17 October. keep up-to-date with information from the papers presented at the Convention here.

Please note, the views expressed in the papers presented at the convention are those of the authors.

Lessons learned from mega projects
The development of the export liquefied natural gas industry in Australia comprised three mega projects that stretched human resources, social tolerance and changed the landscape of some parts of Queensland in a very short time-frame.
In just five years, more than 7000 coal seam gas wells were constructed and thousands of kilometres of pipelines were laid to carry the gas to the LNG processors on Curtis Island, the APGA 2017 Annual Convention and Exhibition heard today.
The project was the largest of its type in the southern hemisphere, MPC Group General Manager Phil Larson said.
“The main challenge was how to construct such a large network in such a short time,” he said.
“This required significant innovation by contractors and a rapid mobilisation of a workforce of tens of thousands of people with the right skills in a very short amount of time, and this proved to have social and economic consequences for the local area.

Read more in the Lessons learned from mega projects media release.

Stakeholder engagement key to success
Building a pipeline that’s more than 600km long is a significant undertaking at any time, but add in a very short time frame, a remote location and the necessity to work with three jurisdictions and local stakeholders in far-flung locations, and it becomes a major piece of work.
These were the circumstances applying to the $800 million 622km Northern Gas Pipeline (NGP) which will connect Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory to Mt Isa in Queensland, with first gas expected to flow in late 2018.
Planning for the stakeholder engagement, land access and approvals strategies began, by necessity, on computers located far from the proposed pipeline, Jemena NGP Approvals and Stakeholder Manager Russell Brooks told the APGA 2017 Annual Convention and Exhibition today.
“Stakeholder engagement is a very important element required to get pipeline approvals,” Mr Brooks said.
“But when we started, planning was largely a desktop exercise as we were in the bidding phase with multiple tenders and there was a restriction on stakeholder consultation.
“We also had a relatively short timeframe, so we first worked out who all the stakeholders were by doing desktop research. There were stakeholders across three jurisdictions – the Northern Territory, Queensland and the Commonwealth – in a number of areas in each one. And, of course, there were many stakeholders in the local area where the pipeline would be built.”

Read more in the Stakeholder engagement key to success media release.

Pilot project first step to decarbonise gas
A pilot project using excess energy generated by wind, solar and other renewables to convert water into hydrogen that is injected into the gas network to provide energy without carbon emissions is now under way in Australia.
Australian Gas Networks has taken the first step on the road to decarbonising our gas supply by teaming up with another Australian company, AquaHydrex, in the pilot project that will lead to hydrogen being injected into Adelaide’s gas system as early as 2018.
Australian Gas Networks Operations and Engineering Manager Ralph Mignone said the aim of the project was to demonstrate that a new and less expensive method of hydrogen conversion using electrolysis was viable.
“If this works, it will produce hydrogen more cheaply than the current process because it won’t rely on expensive materials and it won’t be as energy intensive,” Mr Mignone told the 2017 APGA Annual Convention and Exhibition.
“This is the first step on the journey of decarbonising our gas supply. The project will prove we can put small amounts of hydrogen into our networks now and that eventually, by 2050, we should be able to change over completely to hydrogen.”

Read more in the Pilot project first step to decarbonise gas media release.

Issues confronting gas now also pose challenges for its future role
Challenges such as high prices and supply shortages within the gas sector have consequences for energy users today, but they could also threaten the role of gas in Australia’s future energy mix.
With faster construction, quick start-up and shut-down times and lower emissions, gas-fired power generation is an obvious part of a future energy system that includes more generation from intermittent sources such as wind and solar PV, Energetics’ Associate Gordon Weiss said today.
But technological developments, such as improvements in battery storage and the current high price of gas, mean that the industry must act now in order to secure the future role of gas before it is overlooked, Dr Weiss told the 2017 APGA Annual Convention and Exhibition.
Gas has clear advantages, especially when combined with renewables, to deliver reliable and affordable electricity with low emissions, he said.
“A wind farm backed up by gas-fired generators is now a cheaper option than a new coal-fired power station,” he said.
“Admittedly, gas is expensive at the moment in Australia, but analysis reported by AGL shows that even with expensive gas, renewables backed up by gas still results in cheaper electricity than coal-fired power generation.

Read more in the Issues confronting gas now also pose challenges for its future role media release.

Transforming workplaces key to attracting and keeping talent
Technological developments are changing the way we get the news, connect with friends, look after the household, manufacture products, catch taxis, book hotels and organise most of our lives.
And while we all use up-to-date technology to help us do our work, some workplaces are evolving at a much slower pace and risk losing competitive advantage.
TMS Consulting Chief Executive Officer Helen Wood said organisations that failed to provide flexibility in how their employees can work risked losing talented workers and not being able to attract the right talent in the future.
“Increasingly, people see work as a part of their lifestyle, and they don’t want to have to be in a particular place to do it,” Ms Wood told APGA’s 2017 Annual Convention and Exhibition.
“By 2030, 75 per cent of the world’s workforce will be under 35 years old. Younger people require a more integrated and mobile workplace and we need to adapt to offer new ways of working.
“Increasingly, we see people moving towards activity based working, and this challenges traditional workplace structures. Activity based working is attractive to younger people as it offers flexibility in when they work and where they work. In addition, it has a focus on outputs and outcomes, and enables workplaces to be organised around projects rather than traditional organisational structures.”

Read more in the Transforming workplaces key to attracting and keeping talent media release.

Stakeholder co-design strategy key to project success
A project requiring the removal of 400 established trees from a valued space in a sensitised community would daunt most infrastructure companies, but an innovative approach to stakeholder engagement helped to facilitate discussions between some of the key community groups.
In 2016, Melbourne Water was faced with the task of replacing a century-old water main that supplies drinking water to Melbourne’s CBD. The water main runs under the sixth busiest bike path in Australia and alongside a tram route and double carriageway in Melbourne’s inner-northern suburbs.
The disruption to the community was set to be substantial. In addition to the community disruption, the location posed considerable challenges from several perspectives, notably safety, according to CNC Project Management consultant Sally Commins, who worked with Melbourne Water on the project.
“Right from the start Melbourne Water knew it had to involve the community, particularly those directly affected by the project,” Ms Commins said in a paper delivered today to the 2017 APGA Annual Convention and Exhibition.
“Melbourne Water implemented a community engagement strategy aimed at reaching as many people in their own environment, including by being present at shopping centres, train stations and by through measures such as handing out project-branded muesli bars on shared paths.”

Read more in the Stakeholder co-design strategy key to project success media release.

Issues confronting gas now also pose challenges for its future role
electricity towerChallenges such as high prices and supply shortages within the gas sector have consequences for energy users today, but they could also threaten the role of gas in Australia’s future energy mix.
With faster construction, quick start-up and shut-down times and lower emissions, gas-fired power generation is an obvious part of a future energy system that includes more generation from intermittent sources such as wind and solar PV, Energetics’ Associate Gordon Weiss said today.
But technological developments, such as improvements in battery storage and the current high price of gas, mean that the industry must act now in order to secure the future role of gas before it is overlooked, Dr Weiss told the 2017 APGA Annual Convention and Exhibition.
Gas has clear advantages, especially when combined with renewables, to deliver reliable and affordable electricity with low emissions, he said.
“A wind farm backed up by gas-fired generators is now a cheaper option than a new coal-fired power station,” he said.
“Admittedly, gas is expensive at the moment in Australia, but analysis reported by AGL shows that even with expensive gas, renewables backed up by gas still results in cheaper electricity than coal-fired power generation.”

Read more in the Issues confronting gas now also pose challenges for its future role media release.

Maintaining the Standard a valued contribution
Australia’s pipeline industry has an enviable record for public safety, due in no small part to the thousands of hours donated by volunteers dedicated to ensuring the industry standard, AS 2885 and associated pipeline coating standards, keep pace with developments in the industry.
Like other Standards in Australia, the AS 2885 suite of standards has been developed, reviewed and revised over the three decades of its existence by a committee of professionals from the pipeline industry who make up the ME-038 Main Committee, and its subcommittees, of Standards Australia.
ME-038 Main Committee Chair Susan Jaques told the 2017 APGA Annual Convention and Exhibition that the suite of standards is reviewed every five years via the seven subcommittees established, and the revision process was necessarily rigorous.
“It’s a difficult task and I don’t think people realise that the Standards exist through the hard work of ordinary people from the industry,” Ms Jaques said.
“It’s possible people don’t appreciate that the Standards are drawn up by the person sitting down the hall, and agreed to by a committee of ordinary people doing extraordinary work trying to make it easier for the industry.”
Read more in the Maintaining the Standard a valued contribution media release.

Survey indicates personal liability may impact in engineering decisions
Jan HayesAn increasing public expectation of zero failure, even when conducting hazardous activities, coupled with a legal definition of causation at odds with engineering practice, threaten to stifle innovation and encourage defensive engineering, the APGA 2017 Annual Convention and Exhibition heard today.
A growing concern voiced among professional engineers over personal liability prompted researchers from the Energy Pipelines Cooperative Research Centre to undertake a survey to find out whether this concern was affecting engineering decision-making.
Presenting author Jan Hayes said a number of recent cases demonstrated that professionals, rather than management, could be held liable when things went wrong. These included the Deepwater Horizon oil rig blow-out in 2010 in which 11 people died. Two engineers who were present on the rig at the time were each charged with 11 cases of involuntary manslaughter and 11 cases of seaman’s manslaughter – charges which were dropped before trial.
“An Australian example is the Wivenhoe Dam case where dam engineers were subject to heavy scrutiny and publicly held to bear significant responsibility for the major downstream flooding, although no charges were laid,” Dr Hayes said.
“Another case was the six scientists and one ex-government official who were convicted of multiple cases of manslaughter following the L’Aquila earthquake in Italy in 2009 because of failing to accurately predict the likelihood of the quake. Eventually, the verdict was overturned.
“These types of cases create a great deal of concern for engineers.”

Read more in the Survey indicates personal liability may impact in engineering decisions media release.

Tiny movements can have large consequences
New Zealand’s largest capacity high-pressure gas transmission pipeline failed in October 2011. The outage of the pipeline and subsequent interruption to the supply of gas to some consumers caused significant disruption to businesses and services that rely on gas for their normal operation.
The estimated gross economic cost of this disruption to New Zealand was $200 million. These costs were heavily concentrated in the dairy industry and large industries.
It was the most significant gas industry incident in NZ history, and it was caused by a landslide – one than moved just 30mm a year.
The lessons learned from that incident, which shut-down the Maui Pipeline for only five days for repair, were many, First Gas Senior Pipeline Integrity Specialist Derek Coombe and Transmission Manager Ryan Phipps said in a paper presented at APGA’s 2017 Annual Convention and Exhibition.

Read more in the Tiny movements can have large consequences media release.

Energy Pipelines CRC poised for a new future
David NormanA successful and unusual collaboration between academia and industry through the Energy Pipelines Cooperative Research Centre has resulted in new processes, products and services and a return on research investment for the pipeline industry at a rate of 4.5 to one.
With just five participants (the University of Wollongong, RMIT, Deakin University, The University of Adelaide and APGA) the Energy Pipelines CRC is the smallest CRC in the Commonwealth co-funded program, but that makes little difference.
Chief Executive Officer David Norman told the 2017 APGA Annual Convention and Exhibition that the benefits for the pipeline industry of the 80 research programs now completed have been many.
“An independent assessment has found that the benefits from the Energy Pipelines CRC’s research have a value of around $4.50 for every $1 invested by the pipeline industry,” Mr Norman said.

Read more in the Energy Pipelines CRC poised for a new future media release.

 

 

Last updated on 17 Oct 2017 by kpolglaze