2015 Golden Gecko awarded to innovative micro-tunnel project

Chevron Australia has received the 2015 Golden Gecko Award for Environmental Excellence.
Date: Friday, 30 October 2015

Chevron Australia has been awarded the 2015 Golden Gecko Award for Environmental Excellence for an innovative shoreline crossing solution.

The Wheatstone micro-tunnel links a 225km long offshore gas pipeline to the onshore processing facilities, protecting the coastal area adjacent to the Ashburton River Delta.

Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Marmion presented the Golden Gecko Award to Chevron Australia at an awards ceremony on Thursday night.

Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP) Executive Director Environment Dr Phil Gorey said the project project stood out to the selection committee and was a very deserving recipient of the 2015 Golden Gecko Award.

“The Wheatsone natural gas development is adjacent to the Ashburton River Delta, which supports important mangrove and estuarine habitats,” Dr Gorey said.

“Chevron investigated five options for a shore crossing and chose the one with the lowest environmental impact, even though it was the most expensive choice.

“Their commitment to environmental excellence was evident from the level of assessment and engagement undertaken during the project’s development.

“Monitoring undertaken on the Ashburton River Delta demonstrated excellent environmental outcomes with no ground disturbance and an increase in the number of mature mangrove trees adjacent to the tunnel corridor.

“Other excellent environmental initiatives included using biodegradable hydraulic oils, not using chemicals for the last 50 metres of tunnelling, re-using all tunnel spoil, recycling almost all recyclable waste, and formally recognising individuals who improved environmental awareness of the project through an award program initiative.

“This is the first time Chevron has successfully used micro-tunnel technology in the oil and gas industry and it is the longest pipe-jacked tunnel in the southern hemisphere.”

Certificates of Merit were also awarded to Pilbara Mesquite Management Committee Inc and St Barbara Limited.

Battling the Thorny Menaces through Corporate Alliances saw Pilbara Mesquite Management Committee spearhead a resources company alliance to manage weed control across the Pilbara.

St Barbara’s Gwalia Operations Absorption Chiller Upgrade more than doubled the cooling capacity of the Gwalia underground mine by converting waste heat energy from the power plant to cool air.

The eight finalists for the 2015 Golden Gecko Awards were:

  • Chevron Australia – Wheatstone Micro-tunnel Project
  • Fortescue Metals Group / Ziltek Pty Ltd / PT Environmental Services – Better Environmental Outcomes from Hydrocarbon Spills using RemScan™
  • Kalgoorlie Consolidated Gold Mines – Gidji Emissions Reduction Project
  • Pilbara Mesquite Management Committee Inc – Battling the Thorny Menace through Corporate Alliances
  • Pilbara Ports Authority – Mangrove Rehabilitation Program
  • Premier Coal / Golder Associates – Lake Kepwari Trial Flow-through
  • Rio Tinto Iron Ore Utilities Division – West Angelas Fuel Hub
  • St Barbara Limited – Gwalia Operations Absorption Chiller Upgrade

Anyone interested in submitting a project for the 2016 Golden Gecko Awards can visit www.dmp.wa.gov.au/goldengecko for details.