ESSO’S Gas Conditioning Plant at Longford is on track to be operational next year.
The $1 billion dollar project, adjacent to the exiting Longford gas plants, will process gas from the Kipper Tuna Turrum project.
Gas from the KTT project must be processed to ensure it is suitable for domestic use.
The KTT project is the largest domestic gas development on the Australian eastern seaboard.
According to Esso, gas from these fields is set to produce enough energy to power a city of one million people for 35 years.
Esso Gippsland projects manager David Standfield said work was progressing well.
“We’ve got all the major equipment on site, all the major modules on site,” Mr Standfield told the Gippsland Times.
“It’s just a matter of buttoning it all up now and running up all the electric cable and small pipework.”
Elements for the project have come from around the world, presenting challenges in delivering them to Longford.
“The largest module was close to 200 tonne, in excess of 50 metres long,” Mr Standfield said.
“Transporting that takes a fair amount of effort: getting into a port, getting offloaded and getting transported to site.
“We blocked a lot of roads, we did a lot of transports overnight, but did that successfully without any interruption to the community, and certainly safely.
“We don’t have any more big loads to come to site now.
“We have one piece of equipment which is about to arrive in Australia, coming out of the States, but other than that, everything’s at site.
“It’s pretty well taken shape the way we anticipated it would look like.”
Attention is now turning to the start-up phase.
“A lot of the team we’ve got here are working on the start-up phase at the moment,” Mr Standfield said.
“I’m really looking at start-up procedures and going through that process, because at some point, we pull the fence down on the existing plants and that will allow us to run the process between this plant and that plant.
“Early next year we’ll introduce hydrocarbons into the plant.
“We’re still working on the timing of that start-up procedure.
“It will take two or three months to go from introduction of hydrocarbons to eventually fully operational.”
Local workers and contractors have been utilised on the project.
“We’re lucky that this region has that capability,” Mr Standfield said.
“Esso’s been here for 50-odd years and you’ve got the coal mining, a big engineering capability in the Gippsland region.”
Construction begin in December 2013 on the conditioning plant, which will not increase the capacity at Longford, but maintain the current level.
“All it’s doing is front end treating of gas so we can actually maintain capacity at Longford,” Mr Standfield said.
“Unfortunately, it’s a little more complex than some of the previous gas, and we’ve got to build a billion dollar gas plant to get there.”