Refurbishment a big success

An important phase of the Karratha Life Extension (KLE) project has been successfully completed with jetty refurbishment completed during Q1. 

KLE site manager Martin Richards says updating equipment was necessary if Woodside was to ensure continued safe and reliable operations as it extended the life of the Karratha Gas Plant (KGP). "The jetties are our interface with customers and our window to the world," Martin notes. "This interface needs to be seamless, so we needed equipment refurbishment and replacements to continue to maintain our reputation as a leading supplier of hydrocarbons." 

Senior project engineer Steven Cripps says major equipment on two jetties were replaced using a jack-up barge and floating crane barge. "The scopes encompassed eight loading arms, nine fenders, two gangways, rope rails and derrick cranes on Berth 1 (LNG) and Berth 3 (LPG and condensate)," Steven says. "In addition to the major lifting activities, we also took the opportunity to replace around 100 valves, repair 40 pipe supports and replace 60 instruments on Berth 1." During a month-long Berth 1 shutdown in September 2015, key isolation valves were replaced and a bypass was installed on the jetty piping system. 

​​T​his work enabled the 2016 shutdown to take place and ensured that the plant could load LNG at full rates on Berth 2 while Berth 1 was offline for three months. The main marine campaign started in the middle of July 2016 and was finishing as Trunkline went to press. In total almost 20 contractors were employed for the wide range of activities required – from marine lifting to rope access services, hydraulics to surveying. Martin says there were many challenges, not least maintaining production during a complex and lengthy campaign. 
The LNG jetty has redundancy, meaning KLE could take Berth 1 offline and still offtake LNG via Berth 2. The LPG and condensate jetty was more challenging, with work being executed within shipping windows. "Because there were so many contractors working in a relatively small area, a number of simultaneous operations (SIMOPS) issues arose, which was managed by good communication," says Martin. 

Steven says another challenge was the replacement of loading arms – complex pieces of equipment requiring precise installation and commissioning by specialist vendors. 

Steven says another challenge was the replacement of loading arms – complex pieces of equipment requiring precise installation and commissioning by specialist vendors.  "Before we got to site we needed to work closely with procurement and contracting to ensure the major packages such as loading arms, fenders and rope rails arrived exactly when needed," Steven explains. 

Martin says he was pleased that production was not impacted during the eight-month-long project, due to the extent of the collaboration between Operations, Maintenance, Production Planning and Market Liaison (PPML) and ship pilots. "The extent of that collaboration was demonstrated by the fact production was not adversely impacted by the work," he notes. "Daily meetings with the PPML offtake team and marine pilots helped co-ordinate project activities with ship arrivals. "And daily SIMOPS meetings plus regular communication with Operations and Maintenance meant that we mitigated productivity losses that might have resulted from bad weather and other challenges." 


Steven says continuous improvements and productivity initiatives were being logged and deep dive learning was still being conducted. One simple productivity improvement implemented was the installation of cribbing (lunch and toilet facilities) close to the work fronts – a large upfront cost but with a very quick payback period and positive health and safety effects. "It's already clear the improvements are adding up to some serious savings," he says. "To give another example, replacing rigid emergency ladders with roll-down rope ladders meant simpler, safer and cheaper execution." 

Martin adds that even more pleasing than the fact the complex scope for Berth 1 was implemented on time was the fact that it was also completed safely. "In fact, we've recorded more than 400,000 hours of site work in total and there was not one Lost Time Injury and only one recordable injury – a rolled ankle," he points out. "This is a result of having an engaged workforce working together towards a common goal."​

​Download Trunkline