Safety concerns raised at WA gas field

Australia’s largest gas project could be shut after workers raised safety concerns.

The Gorgon liquified national gas development on Barrow Island, 60 kilometres off the northwest coast of Western Australia, is operated by Chevon Australia and supplies gas locally and across Asia.

But the $US54 billion venture is under threat of a temporary shutdown after reports of “massive” cracks in pressurised propane kettles on one of three LNG trains.

Cracks up to one metre long and 30mm deep were found on between 8 to 11 kettles on Train 2, the Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union said on Tuesday.

This “represents a serious failure in this critical piece of kit”, union state secretary Steve McCartney said in a statement.

“These kettles are carrying pressurised propane, and the trains are lined up next to each other on the plate.”

The union wants Chevron to shut down Gorgon for an immediate safety inspection.

“We’re hearing from workers that they’re fearful for their safety and are reluctant to even go out to the blast-proof wall. We share their fears,” Mr McCartney said.

Comment is begin sought from Chevron Australia.

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