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Friday, 29 November 2013

Instrumentation training at TAFE Queensland SkillsTech

TAFE Queensland SkillsTech has the preeminent Instrumentation training section in Australia.   In this video Mal Garrick section manager talks about the type of flexibility, equipment and training participants receive with his instructors at SkillsTech Australia. From Certificate I to Diploma in Instrumentation and Process Control, PLC, SCADA, Valves, Hart, Field Bus and DCS.

Sample Instrumentation equipment and flow rigs


Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Type B gas licence - Type B Reciprocating Engine Exemption Skills Set

Origin HPU for Type B Reciprocating Engine Exemption Skills Set
Most people would know that both electrical and plumbing are licensed trades. That means at the completion of an electrical apprenticeship in Queensland the tradesperson applies to the Electrical Safety Office (ESO) to gain their licence to work as a fully qualified electrician.

Likewise, plumbers are required to gain additional licences to install, disconnect and reconnect gas to domestic appliances. This type of gas work is allowed under the Petroleum and Gas (Production and Safety) Act 2004 (the Act) and is restricted to ‘white goods'; i.e. appliances used in domestic/commercial areas. Therefore, household or light commercial heaters, cookers etc. require a gas fitter with “Type A” Gas licence.

The Petroleum and Gas Inspectorate of Safety and Health Division is part of the Queensland Government’s Department of Natural Resources and Mines (DNRN), which provides expert advice, approves the sale, installation and use of both Type A (and Type B) gas devices and also collects relevant information under the Act to meet its obligations under the Act.

The Act defines Type B gas devices as all other gas devices (other than Type A), which are essentially industrial and commercial gas devices, such as fuel gas systems for a vehicle or vessel.
Type B has four classes of Gas Work Authorisations in Queensland:

  • Industrial Appliances (can cover installing, altering, removing, servicing, repairing, testing and certifying Type B Devices)
  • Motor Fuel (for installing, altering, removing, servicing, repairing, testing and certifying a gas system that supplies fuel to vehicle and vessel engines)
  • Servicing (where an authorisation is to be limited to repairing and maintaining Type B industrial appliances only)
  • Major Project (for development and construction of plant for major gas users (>50GJ/hour) only)
The training program for the Type B licences is under the Construction, Plumbing and Services Training Package and the unit of competency is the “CPCPGS4023A Install, commission and service Type B gas appliances”. Candidates are required to have a restricted electrical licence or permit or equivalent to connect and disconnect appliances according to the requirements of the particular State or Territory as a prerequisite and the program duration is approximately 10 days to complete.
Enerflex Type B Reciprocating Engine Exemption Skills Set Asset

In Queensland this is where most Coal seam Gas (CSG) companies run into licencing issues. To replace ‘like-for-like’ components on a gas fuel skid i.e.: gas filter the tradesperson requires a Type B gas licence. The license covers design aspects of valve trains, burner, steam and heated water boilers and water heaters. Participants must have a working knowledge of up to five Australian Standards, including AS2593 Boilers - Unattended and limited attendance.
The four, tier one Queensland–based CSG proponents such as Arrow Energy, SANTOS GLNG, QGC and Origin Energy have all complied with the Type B licence requirements. However, at the same time have requested through DNRN if every single person who replaces a gas fuel filter for maintenance purposes requires this level of compliance and licencing?
After exhaustive discussions with all relevant government bodies and the CSG proponents put a case forward for a ‘maintenance centric’ version of the Type B. As a result, SkillsTech Australia is proud to announce the “Type B Reciprocating Engine Exemption Skills Set” program.  The skill sets are drawn from the Certificate IV in ESI Generation Maintenance (Mechanical) (UEP40312) program.  The exception set is based on two (2) units of competency:

·         UEPMNT368A - Repair and maintain stationary gas fuelled reciprocating engines

·         UEPMNT367A - Install and commission stationary gas fuelled reciprocating engines.
This exception program allows workers to understand the requirements of the safety standards; predominantly AS3814 & AS/NZS 5601.1 that the fuel train needs to comply with these Australian Standards. In this way they can report/repair any safety related issues or non-compliances to the site superintendent.
The course also gives them the skills to install, repair and tune the fuel train (only) for the gas appliance, which may be a generation set (genset), hydropack (hydraulic pack) or compressor etc. It is restricted to the manual isolation valve for the appliance and may not include the gas filters which may be upstream. This work must be completed by an operator who has been appropriately trained to work on this equipment.
The program also allows the participants to work on an engine in a downstream situation, such as a ‘genset’ for freezers in supermarkets. In this case it would work under Type B gas fitters Gas Work Authorisation (GWA).
The program is much shorter at eight days for both units of competency and has a number of prerequisite units. This Type B Reciprocation Engine Exemption Skills Set allows maintenance staff to perform routine upkeep of CSG related equipment without the need to focus on information that may not be relevant to their job profiles or tasks. The exception program is only valid in Queensland; however, South Australia and other states are looking at similar outcomes for their conventional fields.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

QGC (QCLNG), SANTOS GLNG and Australia Pacific LNG (APLNG) to share gas supply in new partnership.

What would have been unheard of just a few years ago now has all three major CSG proponents discussing gas sharing arrangements. This business collaboration has been established through the necessity of each operator to run their coal seam gas (CSG) to liquefied natural gas (LNG) conversion plants or ‘trains’ at optimum efficiency. QGC - a BG Group Business, SANTOS GLNG and APLNG are now working towards the construction of three separate CSG to LNG conversion trains on Curtis Island which is located off Gladstone in Central Queensland. In some cases the plants are only hundreds of metres apart from each other.

The potential risk exists for any operators, to not have enough gas to run their ‘trains’ at peak efficiency and therefore sustain major project losses. This new cooperative approach allows proponents to swap, buy and sell gas between each player. Each operator will be highly reliant on the accuracy of instruments like large scale flow metering and real-time gas chromatographs to determine the ‘custodial transfer’ of the product.

Arrow Energy Ltd, owners Shell and Petrochemical Corp (Sinopec Group), stated position is that they may delay any final investment decision (FID) on moving forward with the Arrow LNG venture until 2014 amid rising costs in Australia and that it was still considering plans to combine its Arrow gas resources with other third parties.

Collaboration such as this is echoed by Climate Institute chief executive John Connor, ’…if Australia improved its energy efficiency by just 1 per cent each year, it would generate an additional $8 billion in gross domestic product (GDP) by the end of the decade, and $26 billion by 2030….(1)

At a combined cost of some $60 million AUD, this new collaborative approach is sure to bring increased efficiencies to the CSG/LNG space. These mutually beneficial arrangements point to a new level of collaboration, cooperation and maturity previously not seen in the CSG sector.

For more information please email Garry Hargreaves at

To read more, see below:

(1) August “the Australian Oil & Gas Review” p1.

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Pipeline to jobs

NEW SKILLS: Malcolm Garrick, front, and other trainers learn the ropes before starting the course in large pipeline installation. Picture: Annette Dew

THE liquefied natural gas industry is growing, the pipes are getting bigger and the need for a skilled local workforce is turning trainers into students.  TAFE Queensland Skills Tech business manager Malcolm Garrick recently joined pipeline operators on a six-week training trip across the Malaysian Peninsula with Santos GLNG.  There Garrick learned about large-diameter pipeline surveillance, right of way operations, pipe digs and repairs. He is now training the trainers - in preparation to teach Australia's first large-diameter pipeline training course. "I think gas will be the most prominent resource fuel we (will) have," Garrick says. "It all leads to the export market and makes it a big industry in the region.  "There are many aspects to gas pipelines, from mechanical to electrical and instrumentation.  Our teachers are getting fully skilled up, spending time with gas pipeline technicians so they can deliver this course." In Malaysia Garrick trained at an international training facility run by Petronas a joint venture partner with Santos GLNG examining 2000km of pipeline along the east coast. He says there is already interest in the new course and people are changing their trades to get into the LNG industry.

"Of the six people I went over to Malaysia with, three came from different trade areas, one was a boilermaker, one a carpenter and the other a plumber," he says. "I think that goes to show that new people can be trained up for a career in the gas industry if they have the right attitude." Santos GLNG senior adviser of operations training, Lina Dickins, says the Australia first course will improve work opportunities for local job seekers and graduates. "Bringing these skills to Australia is a vital step in ensuring our industry has the skilled workforce it needs and is leaving a positive legacy for our state," Dickins says, adding: "Across the project, we continue to provide opportunities for locals to improve their skills, which will benefit our industry in the long-term." Pipeline operators skilled at installing and maintaining 106cm-diameter pipelines are needed to lay 420km of pipeline between the Surat Basin of southern Queensland and Curtis Island off Gladstone. 

For more information please email Garry Hargreaves at

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Hot Tapping, Squeeze Off, Butt Fusion and Electrofusion for HDPE (PE100).

The new HDPE (PE100) Centre of Excellence at TAFE Queensland SkillsTech’s Acacia Ridge Training Centre features first class facilities and modern welding equipment with trade qualified teachers delivering practical, hands-on skills using industry’s best practice. These skills will provide opportunities to work in industry sectors that require the installation of HDPE (PE100) piping systems, such as the growing Coal Seam Gas (CSG) sector, mining and mineral processing along with the building and construction trades, including plumbing.

Programs include:
                 Butt weld polyethylene plastic pipelines (PMBWELD301 B)
                Electrofusion weld polyethylene pipelines (PMBWELD302B).             
                Non Accredited: Hot Tapping and Squeeze Off

TAFE Queensland SkillsTech’s HDPE (PE100) Centre of Excellence is also offering field-based Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) assessments which has attracted interest from all major CGS proponents.  The latest training program deals with the important process of Hot Tapping and Squeeze Off. Hot Tapping usually entails cutting in to live Gas or Water main to “T off” to supply other services.  In the CSG market this Hot Tapping process is usually facilitated by single or double Squeeze Off.   Squeeze Off means the polyethylene pipe is squashed to form a Gas or Water isolation.

Squeezed Off HDPE 

T Joint - +GF+

Hot Tap and Valve - +GF+

For further information or to visit the TAFE Queensland SkillsTech’s HDPE (PE100) Centre of Excellence Acacia Ridge Training Centre, please email Garry Hargreaves at:

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Pipeline Technician training with PETRONAS in Malaysia

TAFE Queensland SkillsTech, Queensland’s largest public provider of trade and technician training, will soon launch Australia’s first large-diameter pipeline training.   Business Manager Mr Malcolm Garrick spent a two week visit in Gladstone with Santos GLNG, followed by six weeks of pipeline training across the Malaysian Peninsular with joint venture partner PETRONAS.  Malcolm up-skilled with several of Santos GLNG’s pipeline technicians at the PETRONAS training facility,
“Accompanying the technicians from Santos GLNG into the field with PETRONAS was a wonderful learning experience I will take away from my training,” Malcolm said.
“I learnt three new words a day so that I could communicate more easily with my Malaysian teachers and this in itself has proven to be a highlight."Malcolm spent time in local villages in rural Malaysia while undertaking pipeline surveillance, right of way operations, and pipe digs, surveys and repairs.“I particularly enjoyed four-wheel driving through jungle, seeing wild animals, meeting the Kampong [locals] in their villages and eating wonderful food with the pipeline technicians,” he said. “I have drawn on the knowledge of PETRONAS and Santos GLNG’s pipeline operators, who answered my questions and contextualised our learning’s within the Australian regulatory environment.”

Malcolm will begin conveying his new-found knowledge of pipelines to SkillsTech Australia teachers in June. “Thanks to Santos GLNG and PETRONAS, SkillsTech Australia can now build a concise team of teachers who can travel to site to conduct large-diameter pipeline training,” he said.

“We will also be offering Recognised Prior Learning (RPL) in UEG40206 Certificate IV in Gas Industry Transmission Pipeline to people in the field who are working as pipeline technicians but do not hold a current qualification.”

For more information please email Garry Hargreaves at:


RTO No. 0275 | CRICOS No. 03020E