PNG

Over 600 km of large diameter pipelines successfully delivered. Working in remote Papua New Guinea since 1992.

Complex construction projects expertise

Spiecapag knows the reality of pipeline construction in PNG, having successfully delivered both of PNG’s major pipeline projects.
We have built over 600 km of operating pipelines in the Southern Highlands and Gulf provinces since the 1990’s. These include the Kutubu pipeline in the 1990’s and PNG LNG’s onshore export pipeline in the 2010’s.

Building pipelines in remote parts of PNG requires a broad range of highly expert skills, and since the 1990’s, we have planned, lived and learned the practical challenges of being a PNG pipeliner.  Through the construction of both of the Highlands’ large diameter pipelines, we have experienced the breadth of challenges that construction in these environments involves – and delivered both projects ahead of schedule.

This experience goes beyond the (significant) technical, logistical, climatic, terrain, environmental, security and safety challenges, to ensuring local people are given the best opportunities through our projects, working with tribal boundaries and the social challenges that define infrastructure construction projects in the Highlands.

As we lived those challenges, we solved them, and learned and internalised the lessons.

PNG projects

We are currently mobilising our construction teams to deliver mechanical piping works in New Ireland province. Alongside our PNG pipeline construction activities, we provide constructability advice to pipeline projects in PNG, and deliver various technical pipeline services including horizontal directional drilling.

Project Scope Status
Confidential
mining client
Engaged by a miner to design and execute a mechanical piping project in a remote location. Currently in the design & mobilisation phase
Confidential oil & gas project Engaged by oil and gas major to carry out a Design Engineering Study. Work is ongoing
Confidential oil & gas project
Engaged by consultant engineering firm that is carrying out a Front End Engineering study on behalf of an oil and gas major. Work is ongoing
Confidential mining project
Engaged by the developer to carry out constructability study and construction estimate. Completed in 2018
PNG LNG Engaged by ExxonMobil as EPC for the EPC5A pipeline to   install 465km of mainly 32” and 34” gas pipelines and associated pipeline facilities, 8” condensate pipeline + HV and Fibre Optic Cable. Completed in 2014.
Kutubu Engaged by Chevron to construct the 171km Kutubu pipeline from the Kutubu central production facility to landfall on the Kikori River. Completed in 1992.

 

Complex projects in other countries

Spiecapag continually challenges itself to improve and innovate. Maintaining a continuous project pipeline of complex projects around the world helps ensure these innovations become part of our current, global best practice. Such improvements and technical innovations feed into the design and operation of the complex systems that support construction in challenging terrain, and the ongoing projects mean that Spiecapag has the added advantage of offering continuity of experienced leaders used to working in mountainous conditions. Such projects include:

  • Incahuasi-Aquio Field Development, Total, Bolivia (2014 to 2016)
  • TAP Project, Albania (2017 to 2019)
  • Coastal Gas Link, TransCanada, Canada (2018 to 2020).

Like PNG, the above projects require extensive use of specialist construction techniques required in mountainous terrain, and often involve complex logistics.

Click here to download our Spiecapag PNG Capability Statement.

Developing local capability

Spiecapag believes in offering benefits to local people by engaging local businesses and employing local people. On PNG LNG, over 80% of our 3,000 workers were PNG nationals, of which 80% were landowners from the pipeline route. This very real involvement of local people in our projects is a critical success factor for us, in PNG and internationally.

If you or your business would like to work with us, please get in touch via the Contact Us tab above, or by contacting our Country Manager on 78330737 (further details at the bottom of this page).

Construction skills training

Spiecapag has a proven track record of offering opportunity to people living in the areas we work. We do this by working with local businesses and employing local people.

Often this means developing local people’s skills to ensure that the local communities and businesses can get involved at the time of greatest opportunity.

As part of our commitment to this process, Spiecapag has developed project-proven training procedures for the pipeline construction skills across the diverse range of activities needed in PNG.

We have already successfully implemented these programs in PNG, and we know how important this is to Papua New Guineans and the companies that work here.

Capacity building programme

As part of our commitment to creating local opportunity, we have developed and successfully deployed a job readiness programme that assists communities to prepare for the rigours of working on pipeline construction projects. This programme accelerates the involvement of our local communities in our projects, and has driven great successes, particularly for projects in remote locations.

Investing in safety

Spiecapag construction projects in PNG, Australia and internationally have an enviable safety record. Because we fully expect – and plan – to develop the local workforce in terms of employability and skills, we see effectively learning from lessons, and sharing our safety systems and culture as essential. Nowhere is this more important than in PNG’s rugged landscape, where the natural environment presents risks that are compounded by the construction activities.

 

Building PNG LNG

The PNG LNG consortium, led by ExxonMobil, invested more than USD 19 billion to develop this landmark project. Spiecapag was awarded the contract for Engineering, Procurement and Construction of the onshore pipeline and affiliated infrastructure for the PNG LNG Project in December 2009.

In constructing the onshore pipeline, Spiecapag employed 2,400 PNG nationals, 1,900 of which were landowners on the pipeline route.

Project scope

The scope of work for the contract consisted of over 450 kilometres of onshore pipelines to transport natural gas from the Hides Gas Conditioning Plant (HGCP) to the Omati River, where it connects to the offshore pipeline, and to transport the condensate product from the HGCP to the Kutubu Central Processing Facility (CPF).

In addition to the pipelines, Spiecapag also constructed 3 custody transfer metering systems in Kutubu and Gobi, built helipads and laid fibre optic cable and high voltage cable.

Project environment

Pipeline construction was in a remote location where rugged and challenging terrain includes extremely steep slopes, swampland and wetland area, numerous active faults, unstable soils, very difficult access, and tropical rain-forest   with high rainfall.

Along the route, it rains all year round, with up to 9 metres of water annually. The majority of that falls during the rainy season that lasts 5 months, with 30 centimetres of rain falling some days, and 1 to 2 metres of rain in some months. Add that rain to local temperature that reach 30° to 40 °C, and humidity is present everywhere.

 Community engagement and building local content

Successfully engaging with local communities is always critical to our success, and this project was no exception: we employed 2,400 locals, of which 1,900 were customary landholders along the route of the PNG LNG onshore pipeline. An environmental and social compliance charter involving all stakeholders was established, guiding the project as it crossed multiple tribal areas.

Local content was a top consideration, as Spiecapag was committed to performing the works in a way that gave local communities opportunities and training fit for future works.  As such, training schools were established to leave a legacy of skilled workers in the community, and Spiecapag engaged with local and national businesses wherever possible to supply services to the project.

Challenges

The project presented a wide variety of challenges including:

Logistics – the pipeline right of way was 293km long, with no existing access routes, pipes were transported from the cargo ship on to barges and brought up the river network to the Kopi lay-down yard, roads and bridges were constructed to allow access along the remainder of the route. 

Strategic logistics and specialist methodologies were used to address the country’s physical features. Horizontal Directional Drilling was used to cross four major rivers, four large floating bridges were constructed to enable access to the work sites, and 20 kilometres of access roads were constructed over marshland. Over one hundred kilometres of running track were constructed over volcanic soil areas and rock trenching was performed on 103 kilometres.

Slopes – in the Highlands section, some slopes were so steep that normal pipeline equipment could not be used. 
Spiecapag used a combination of spider excavators and a cable crane system to install the pipeline.

Rain – The project was subject to continuous downpours which resulted in roads being washed out and landslides. Work continued throughout, with mitigation measures put in place.

Project schedule and milestones

Despite the challenging conditions on the project, in December 2013, the first milestone for the PNG LNG Pipeline project was achieved following the completion of the gas pipeline from Kutubu CPF to Omati Landfall. The pipeline continued to transport natural gas from Kutubu CPF to HGCP, achieving its second milestone on April 2014.

Despite the challenging conditions on the project, in December 2013, the first milestone for the PNG LNG Pipeline project was achieved following the completion of the gas pipeline from Kutubu CPF to Omati Landfall.
The pipeline continued to transport natural gas from Kutubu CPF to HGCP, achieving its second milestone on April 2014.

In March 2014, the team has successfully completed sending the gas from wellpad B to HGCP, the condensate from HGCP to Kutubu CPF, and the gas from HGCP to Kutubu Main Line Valve, leading to Spiecapag successfully reaching the third milestone.

Contact details

Telephone: +675 78330737

Email: PNG@Spiecapag.com

Postal address: PO Box 444, Konedobu, NCD, Papua New Guinea

Click here to download our PNG Capability Statement.