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Equipping Australia’s LNG industry

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LNG Industry,

While Australia has a ready supply of construction workers dotted across the country, LNG is a relatively new industry. This, coupled with active construction on LNG projects in Western Australia, meant there was a very real risk that a shortage in critical trades would affect the delivery of one of Australia’s largest construction programmes.

In quick succession, Queensland Curtis LNG (a BG Group company), Australia Pacific LNG (a joint venture between ConocoPhillips, Origin and Sinopec), and Santos GLNG (a joint venture between Santos, Petronas, Total and Kogas) each hired Bechtel to design and build an LNG complex on Curtis Island, offshore from Queensland, just north of the city of Gladstone. The three huge plants will produce LNG for customers in China, South Korea, Japan and Malaysia.

These three simultaneous construction programmes are part of the largest concentration of private-capital investment in Australia’s history and the largest concentration of construction projects globally for Bechtel.

During the pre-feasibility stage of the projects, it was determined that there would be a need to employ a large number of experienced tradespeople in a range of highly skilled areas, such as special class welders, pipefitters and instrumentation experts, as the projects moved into the more advanced phases of construction.

Creating a legacy

Having the right people performing the right work at the right time is critical to meeting construction milestones on any project. When Bechtel looked at where it would find the 26 000+ people required throughout the various phases of construction on these projects, it was left with two options:

To import skilled labour from outside of Australia – when the Australian market was depleted.

To use the limited time it had to upskill and train local Australians in the areas that were identified as skills gaps.

Bechtel’s policy to employ and develop Australians was an easy decision to make. It wanted to ensure these projects provided a legacy, not only for the local region, but also for Australia. The best legacy that Bechtel could leave was a highly trained and skilled workforce, with experience in LNG.

In order to meet its training commitments as well as the critical construction schedule, Bechtel has worked closely …..

This article originally appeared in the February 2015 issue of LNG Industry. To read the full version, register for FREE today.

Written by Kevin Berg, Bechtel, Australia. Edited by

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