QNI Pty Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of BHP Billiton has awarded Aker Kvaerner Australia Pty Ltd the contract for preliminary studies and engineering, procurement and construction management for gas conversion of QNI’s nickel refinery at Yabulu near Townsville in North Queensland, Australia.
Aker Kvaerner Australia will conduct the feasibility study for the conversion of the refinery’s fuel system from naphtha and oil fired to coal seam gas (CSG) methane fired. This will include the dryers, calciners and synthesis gas plant as well as the installation of gas reticulation facilities.
QNI President Tim Netscher said, “the conversion to coal seam gas methane will bring substantial energy efficiencies and environmental benefits to our operations by reducing our reliance on liquid fuels and further decreasing our greenhouse gas emissions.”
Aker Kvaerner Australia’s Managing Director, Mr Tom Quinn, said, “the award of this contract recognises Aker Kvaerner’s outstanding performance on a project similar in nature – Santos’ Asset Control Enhancement project. Coupled with our experience in complex brownfield sites, exceptional safety performance and in-house ability to supply the total scope of services we are ideally placed to execute this project for QNI.”
The work will be carried out from a regional office Aker Kvaerner is establishing in the local community of Townsville.
The Queensland Government has facilitated the installation of a 390 km CSG pipeline from Moranbah to Townsville Power Station adjacent to QNI Yabulu Refinery. A consortium is proceeding with the installation of a 300mm pipeline to supply CSG to the refinery. The pipeline will be completed in February 2005.