The Narrows Crossing tunnel, constructed by Thiess for Saipem Australia and Santos GLNG, has won the prestigious 2014 Queensland Premier’s Innovation in Sustainable Technologies Award.
The 4.3 kilometre undersea tunnel between the mainland and Curtis Island off Gladstone was recognised because it provided a conduit for Saipem Australia to install the Santos GLNG gas transmission pipeline without disturbing the sea floor.
The project was also runner‐up for the overall Premier’s Sustainability Award.
Thiess Managing Director Bruce Munro paid tribute to the collaboration between Thiess, Saipem Australia and Santos GLNG in delivering such a positive result for the marine environment.
“I acknowledge the visionary decision by Santos GLNG and Saipem Australia to adopt the tunnel solution which was technically more demanding but presented a clear win for the environment,” Bruce said.
Accepting the award on behalf of Thiess, Saipem Australia and Santos GLNG, Narrows Crossing Tunnel Project Manager James Campbell said everyone on the team was incredibly conscious of the environmental significance of the region.
“This award is fitting recognition of the innovative tunnel solution which eliminated the environmental disturbance associated with alternative methods such as dredging or trenching,” James said.
The project has also received plaudits for its engineering standards and contribution to the local community.
Constructed using a Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) named Rose‐Ella by the children at the local Rosella Park State School, the project employed a team of 75 people and required a total of more than 420,000 man-‐hours to complete.
The TBM excavated approximately 55,000 cubic metres of earth which was used by the Gladstone Regional Council to rehabilitate an ash pond associated with a coal-‐fired power station.