A Queensland water treatment plant that processes water from its connected coal seam gas development has been named the Industrial Water Project of the Year at the 2016 Global Water Awards.

The 100,000m³/d Northern Water Treatment Plant (WTP) won the award for its work treating produced water piped from Queensland Gas Corporation’s (QGC) coal seam gas extraction operation near Wandoan.

An alliance of GE and Laing O’Rourke built and commissioned the $550million plant on behalf of QGC, which is part of BG Group, now owned by Shell.

The Industrial Water Project of the Year award recognises the most impressive technical or environmental achievement in the field of industrial water.

Established in 2006 by Global Water Intelligence, the Global Water Awards recognise projects in the water, wastewater and desalination sectors which demonstrate high quality operating performance, and the use of innovative technology.  

The 2016 awards were held in the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi.

The Northern WTP is the biggest of three produced water treatment plants commissioned by QGC to treat saline water produced as part of the coal seam gas extraction process.

It uses submerged and pressure ultrafiltration, ion exchange (IX), and three-stage reverse osmosis followed by brine concentration, meaning that only three per cent of the influent stream ends up being rejected.

Global Water Intelligence said the plant’s remote location meant that it had to use the latest offsite construction techniques to streamline the construction process and minimise the environmental impacts.

The pipe racks were manufactured to allow a ‘plug and play’ approach using a pre-defined installation sequence, and were delivered according to carefully timed transport envelopes, removing the need for police escorts.

Three 120-tonne brine concentrators were also manufactured offsite in New Zealand before being shipped to Brisbane and installed using one of Australia’s largest mobile cranes.

Jessica Dickers

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