Major maintenance work at QGC is complete.
Major maintenance work at QGC is complete. Murray WareGladstone

Island LNG job done for 400+ workers, flaring verdict looms

AIR quality monitoring results from QGC's first major shutdown, which were expected to create increased smoky flaring, are expected by the end of the year.

This week, work wound down for 450 workers hired for the first major maintenance shutdown at the LNG exporting site on Curtis Island.

The work prompted the gas company to ask the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection for a major change to its environmental authority in June to allow for lengthier time periods of visible, smoky flaring.

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Under the site's original EA, smoky flaring is allowed for 30 minutes at a time, but if the changes are approved it could allow several hours.

Instead of approving the change ahead of the shutdown, which was expected to cause more smoky flaring, EHP extended the time- frame for its decision and upped its air quality monitoring within the region.

"At this stage EHP will make a decision about the application in the first half of next year," a spokesperson said.

"The Department of Science, Information Technology and Innovation will continue to monitor air quality over the next month or two, with results expected towards the end of the year."

The spokesperson said the result will help EHP make an "informed decision" on the impacts of potential increased smoky flaring from QGC.

This week the gas company announced its major maintenance work was completed with minimal increased flaring.

"We are pleased to note that as we emptied the plant of gas, in order to allow safe access for the maintenance work crews, we successfully minimised any periods of visible smoky flaring," a QGC statement said.

"The extensive maintenance has now been completed and the plant is being readied to restart production over the course of the next few days.

"During the restart, as gas is re-introduced into the equipment and the processes are recommissioned, we do expect some smoke and a larger than normal flame."

During the one month of public consultation, 140 submissions were made to DEHP regarding QGC's application. According to Gladstone region deputy mayor Chris Trevor, 96% of the 450 workers were Gladstone residents.


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