Pet Ops hit the underground running
During Exercise Hamel, Captain Adam Duff is leading a team of 27 men and women and 11 semi-trailers of equipment to ensure that the fuel is delivered without disruption to the exercise.
Last month, the petroleum operators rolled out 10 kilometres for an inland pipe system, which is a significant task.
“This is the first time the petroleum operators have done anything of this size,” Captain Duff said. “We’ve done exercises at a unit level, covering one to two kilometres, so going up to 10 kilometres of pipeline is a really significant step-up from what we’ve done previously.”
The pipe line starts at the bulk fuel installation, where diesel and aviation fuel is stored at the Williamson Air Field. The fuel is pumped through the pipe along the ground until it reaches a junction point, where a machine determines the density of the fuel and where the fuel is to be piped.
To enable the inland pipe system to operate over a 10 kilometre area and to protect the ‘lay-flat hose’, engineer plant operators with excavators were required to dig trenches under access roads. The trenches were then cleaned and lined with sandbags, with a metal pipe then laid in the trench and joined to the inland pipe system under the access road.
For the Shoalwater Bay area, using the inland pipe system is considered a more environmentally friendly option.
“The pipe line is keeping a lot of fuel tankers off the road and sending those on the road more forward,” Captain Duff said. “If there is a fuel spillage it will be kept to a minimum through the use of a spill bund.”