New Zealand's Fitzroy Engineering delivers for Aussie gas project

A bright yellow, 650 tonne, 19 metre high and 13 metre wide accommodation module has just been built by New Zealand’s Fitzroy Engineering Group Ltd, for an offshore gas platform in Australia’s Bass Strait.

In just 15 months, Fitzroy completed the extremely complex fabrication of the $35 million Yolla Mega module that will be installed on Origin Energy’s Yolla-A offshore gas production platform and will become home to its 40 person crew.

The Yolla-A gas production platform is part of the BassGas Project, the Australian Bass Strait gas field that feeds gas from the offshore Yolla platform to an onshore processing facility at Lang Lang, 100kms southeast of Melbourne.

Bob Murdoch of ICN in New Zealand was working with Origin Energy at the time they were releasing the international tender to fabricate the accommodation module, and he encouraged Fitzroy to bid for this opportunity. 

Bob has been working with Fitzroy for many years, and he knew they had the skills, capacity and capability to meet the strict requirements of this project. 'They are a world class manufacturer and fully committed to delivering an excellent product utilising their engineering expertise,' said Bob.

With the support from ICN, Fitzroy did bid and eventually won the contract.

They completed the fabrication and with the help of Modern Transport Ltd and their purpose built heavy haulage trailer, they moved the 650 tonne mega unit the 9km from Fitzroy’s workshop through the middle of New Plymouth to the Port of Taranaki, where it was shipped to the Bass Strait.

'This was an exceptionally specialised project and nothing was left to chance. We've done everything with this project, and we're delighted with the result and the haul to the port was a fantastic sight,' said Fitzroy’s Managing Director, Richard Ellis.

The accommodation module incorporates bunkrooms, bathrooms, a state of the art kitchen, mess hall, laundry, gymnasium, offices, associated power and water utilities and even a fire fighting installation.

'The Yolla-A modules are the biggest single fabrication project ever undertaken by Fitzroy Engineering,' said Mr Ellis. 'It’s something we are very proud of.'

The modules have been specifically designed to assist with improving the operating efficiency of the platform and extend the life of the whole project. The new accommodation modules will minimise the costly use of helicopters and increase flexibility for routine work offshore.

Mr Ellis said the gas field owners Origin Energy and AWE were delighted with the result.

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