An Australian gas company has won a top environmental award for their innovative tunnelling solution for a shore crossing.

Chevron Australia (WA) beat eight other finalists to receive the Golden Gecko award for Environmental Excellence by the WA State Government.

Mines and Petroleum Minister, Bill Marmion, said the Wheatstone microtunnel linked a 225 kilometre-long offshore gas pipeline to the onshore processing facilities.

“Chevron showed true commitment to environmental excellence when developing this project, which protects the coastal area adjacent to the Ashburton River delta,” Mr Marmion said.

“The Ashburton River delta supports important mangrove and estuarine habitats and is highly valued by the local Onslow community. The company assessed a number of options for the shore crossing and selected the method that had the lowest environmental risk, despite it being the most expensive option.

“Testing undertaken since the project commenced has shown no evidence of ground disturbance or loss to the mangrove community. The number of mature trees in the area adjacent to the tunnel corridor has actually substantially increased.”

The Golden Gecko Awards for Environmental Excellence are hosted by the Department of Mines and Petroleum each year and serve to increase awareness and interest across an organisation in environmental work.

The Minister also presented merit awards to the Pilbara Mesquite Management Committee and St Barbara Limited. Pilbara Mesquite Management Committee led a resources company alliance to invest in strategic and comprehensive weed management programs across the Pilbara.

St Barbara has more than doubled the cooling capacity of its Gwalia underground mine in the Goldfields by using waste heat energy from the power plant and converting it to cool air. The underground mine air cooling system had been the largest energy consumer at the mine site.

Jessica Dickers is an experienced journalist, editor and content creator who is currently the Editor of Utility’s sister publication, Infrastructure. With a strong writing background, Jessica has experience in journalism, editing, print production, content marketing, event program creation, PR and editorial management. Her favourite part of her role as editor is collaborating with the sector to put together the best industry-leading content for the audience.

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