Pipeline works stall ship refuelling in Dampier

Shannon BeattiePilbara News
Dampier Port.
Camera IconDampier Port. Credit: Pilbara News, Peter de Kruijff

Vessels at the Dampier Cargo Wharf are being rerouted or face a significant increase in refuelling time after the pipeline which transfers diesel fuel from storage tanks was taken out of service.

The VIVA Energy-owned pipeline runs under the DCW and was taken offline after it failed hydro-testing earlier this month.

Many of the vessels which normally bunkered at the DCW are being refuelled at the Toll Supply Base which has similar refuelling capabilities to the pipeline.

However, some smaller ships are being refuelled via road tanker which is estimated to be 50 per cent slower than the usual method.

A VIVA Energy spokeswoman said the pipeline was taken out of service for repair or replacement.

“As the pipeline is a critical part of port infrastructure, we are prioritising the work to return the line to service as soon as possible, we expect the repair to be completed within around six weeks,” she said.

“Longer term, Viva Energy has plans to replace the pipeline and has a development application with the Pilbara Ports Authority for approval.”

A Pilbara Ports Authority spokeswoman said they have been working with VIVA to facilitate direct tankering to minimise impacts to port users.

The testing which the pipeline failed was part of a routine inspection which involved using water at pressures well beyond normal operating conditions.

The VIVA spokeswoman said there were pipelines across the country which were many decades old, but roactive testing enabled operators to avoid any major issues arising and keep the pipelines in service for a long time.

VIVA was unable to comment on how much the repair and replacement of the pipeline would cost until the contractor assessed the repair work or a competitive tender for replacement commenced.

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