QGC has been operating our Curtis Island LNG plant for over two years and has an ongoing schedule of maintenance planned. Regular maintenance work is critical for the ongoing integrity and safety of the plant.

Maintenance background

Before maintenance begins, it’s imperative we completely remove any gas and refrigerants from the 100km+ of pipework so our team can do the job safely. We will return as much gas and refrigerant to storage as possible, while the balance will be sent to the flare so it can be burnt safely and minimise greenhouse gas emissions.

Predominantly methane gas is sent to flare producing a clean burning flame, which can vary in height depending on the gas flow rate.

Refrigerant gases - propane and ethylene - gases, used to cool the gas as part of the liquefication process, may also need to be flared in which case visible smoke may be produced.

While this smoke is visible for short periods, based on modelling and the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection’s air quality monitoring, no health or environmental impacts are predicted from flaring at the LNG facility.

Since commissioning our LNG plant on Curtis Island, QGC has reduced the number and frequency of smoky flare events.

Minimising flaring is important to us. It is fundamental for good business. Minimising flaring helps assure the future viability of our operations by optimising productivity and strengthening business performance. It also demonstrates QGC is sensitively integrating operations within the community.

About Flaring

No health or environmental impacts are predicted from flaring at QGC’s facility, including during smoky flare events. This is based on dispersion modelling and the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection’s air quality monitoring:

  • Dispersion modelling studies show that, due to flare gas composition and flare stack height, no health impacts are predicted.
  • The smoke has a similar chemical composition to smoke from a campfire or candle, comprising carbon particles, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and water vapour.
  • The Department of Environment and Heritage Protection’s Gladstone air quality monitoring network data (PM10, PM2.5, NOx, SO2 readings) show no health or environment impacts related to flaring. Community members can access Gladstone air quality data at www.ehp.qld.gov.au/air/data/search. This data is publicly available in real time.

Maintenance Works

In October 2017, QGC safely and successfully completed the largest maintenance works to date at our LNG plant on Curtis Island and at numbers of our gas processing facilities in the Surat Basin.

The shutdown was completed with minimal smoky flaring, thanks to our skilled and experienced QGC and contractor workforce.

We will update the local community about future planned shutdown work.

Environment Authority review:

In preparation for scheduled maintenance to occur, QGC is seeking to amend aspects of our environmental conditions. The application seeks to amend QGC’s current environmental conditions for the required flaring associated with essential maintenance shutdowns and process upsets, and seeks to increase the authorised duration of visible smoke emissions. The review of the current limits about flaring would enable QGC’s LNG plant conditions to be consistent with the conditions seen for other LNG facilities in Australia, and would reflect the actual operating conditions involved in the LNG facility when operated safely as per design.

QGC has been working with the Queensland Government’s Department of Environment and Heritage to review flaring provisions under our current Environmental Authority.

Copies of, or extracts from, the application may also be obtained from QGC at 72 Goondoon St, Gladstone, QLD 4680 during business hours by appointment. Please email community@qgc.com.au to book an appointment.

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