Qube Energy technology

APGA Annual Awards: companies

Planning turns easements into green assets for communities  

A set of guidelines that assists in turning the linear easements pipelines need into green recreational areas that increase the amenity of growing urban communities has won the 2019 APGA Environment Award.

APA Group developed the Site Planning and Landscape Guidelines to address land use issues and improve the environmental values of the land over pipeline easements. All gas transmission pipelines in Australia must be buried underground and they usually have an easement on top to allow access for maintenance.

As Australia’s suburbs expand into what were empty paddocks when transmission pipelines were built, risks to pipeline safety increase. Generally, easements cannot be built on and, because of the linear nature of pipelines, without integrated planning they can become grassy belts that divide communities.

The Site Planning and Landscape Guidelines encourage early engagement with and involvement in the planning process so that the company can become a partner with communities to bring benefits in amenity at the same time as ensuring protection for pipelines.

The guidelines describe many community uses for easements including walkways, bike paths, exercise facilities, green links for fauna, and shaded and open areas with a variety of vegetation. There is also the possibility of linking visually and otherwise with other nearby green spaces, thus significantly increasing the utility of the easement.

Read more in the Planning turns

easement into green assets for communities media release.

New pipe handling technology improves personnel safety and efficiency  

New technology that can be operated remotely and increases the rate of loading and unloading of pipe has won the 2019 APGA Safety Award.

Handling coated pipe can be risky for people and also for the pipe, but new technology developed by Qube has enabled the process to be undertaken without the need for humans to be nearby. Loading and unloading is also able to be done more quickly.

This new development earned Qube the 2019 APGA Safety Award.

Vacuum lifting technology has been around for some time, and single lift vacuum units have been used within the pipeline industry to load and unload the trucks that carry pipes from ports to the field.


Qube teamed up with Vacuworx® to take this technology a step further, developing a multi-lift vacuum unit which could be used on a larger scale to eliminate and minimise risks associated with pipe handling on board vessels during discharge, and in storage yards.

The result was a multi-lifter that could be operated by remotely through wireless technology, eliminating the need for hooks, slings or chains and for a tag line of operators on the ground or in the hold of vessels. This greatly increases safety for personnel.

The process also eliminates the risk of damage to delicate materials and bonded coatings on the pipe.

Read more in the New pipe handling technology improves personnel safety and efficiency media release.