HIGH SUSPENSE IN GAS PIPE PROJECT
9 December 2014
It was a significant engineering feat: suspending two gas filled pipelines encased in temporary timber cladding while excavating a 5 metre trench underneath.
The devastating floods that tore through Grantham in south-east Queensland’s Lockyer Valley in 2011 claimed 12 lives and caused an extraordinary amount of damage to the community. Flood run-off near the town was so intense, in fact, that the twin underground Roma to Brisbane gas pipelines at nearby Sandy Creek were exposed.
Diona Civil Engineering Contractors and Coates Hire successfully partnered to reposition, reinforce and rebury the pipes at an increased depth to keep them out of harm’s way during future flood events.
According to Steve Holz, Sales Manager Specialist Products, this was a big job that dealt with a range of engineering and occupational health and safety issues.
“The idea was to reposition the pipes lower than the creek bed so that the next time there is a flood in the area, regardless of what erosion may occur the gas supplies to the greater Brisbane area are not threatened in any way,” he explains.
Coates Hire supplied Diona the double-slide rail shoring system with interlocking panels to help with the pipe laying work. “All up, we supplied 15 modules for this job that took some five months to complete,” says Holz.
“The idea was to stop the 5 metre-deep trench from collapsing onto the workers who were doing this pipework all the while with a still-live gas pipeline under their feet.”
At times the heavy pipe sections were fully suspended from the high-strength shoring struts that keep the panels apart. Its unique product specifications and strongly built componentry make the double-slide rail product the only one of its type to enable suspension of a load in this way.
“The reason Diona chose our shoring system was firstly because it was a modular interlocking configuration with struts, which helped speed up the pipe laying, and also because we are one of only a handful of companies with a shoring system that can go down to a depth of 5 metres,” he says.
“The Coates Hire shoring system worked without a hitch. The pipework went ahead as planned and the soil embankments were 100 per cent shored up, without any soil collapsing and causing damage or injury. It was a very long job but one where the Coates Hire commitment to professionalism and safety were on full display for the duration of the five-month project.”
According to Diona Project Manager John Paul O’Connor, gas transportation giant APA Group approached Diona to provide the specialised plant, equipment, labour and management resources to assist with the Sandy Creek Project.
“Diona put forward a number of innovative initiatives, including the use of a Coates Hire double-slide rail shoring system, and deployed our best resources to ensure the project was a success.
“Credit goes to Coates Hire for all of their assistance, and our crew for another job well done!”