Zinfra shows off 1km drill at Port Kembla Pipeline

Aerial photo of the 1km long directional drill at the Port Kembla Pipeline Project (zinfra)
Image: Zinfra

Australian energy infrastructure firm Zinfra has completed a significant milestone in the Port Kembla Pipeline Project: a groundbreaking 1km horizontal directional drill.

Zinfra managing director Peter Iancov said the achievement heralded a new era in Australia’s energy supply chain.

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“The project, in partnership with Jemena and Squadron Energy, will establish a 12km gas transmission pipeline connecting Squadron Energy’s Port Kembla Energy Terminal to Jemena’s existing Eastern Gas Pipeline.

“Zinfra has been entrusted with comprehensive management of this complex project, including design, procurement and construction of the pipeline and a new gas metering station at Kembla Grange.”

Upon completion this infrastructure is capable of supplying more than 70% of NSW’s gas requirements bringing new, reliable energy sources to the market and averting possible supply shortages.

The pipe being used to construct the lateral has undergone additional testing to give it the best possible chance of being hydrogen capable, meaning it will be well-placed to deliver green hydrogen in the event it becomes commercially available.

Green hydrogen, which is produced using renewable energy to power electrolysis of water, represents a clean, sustainable, and versatile energy carrier that could play a central role in a low-carbon economy.

Construction of this transformative pipeline began in late 2022 and is projected to be completed by year-end 2023.

Operations manager Justin Anderson said Zinfra had integrated the internationally recognised ASME B31.12 standard for Hydrogen Pipelines into the design.

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“We have partnered with a specialist supplier in Greece to secure advanced-tested pipes capable of handling 100% hydrogen and procured valves and fittings in line with the latest research, maximising their potential compatibility with hydrogen transport,” Anderson said.

Zinfra is using a combination of advanced construction techniques to fully bury the pipeline system. This method includes the use of open-cut trenches and horizontal directional drills under roads and railway lines, a testament to Zinfra’s ability to manage complex projects in a safe and environmentally sound way.

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