Workers stood down after chemical leak
UPDATE: EMPLOYEES across the QCLNG site returned to normal work activities earlier this afternoon. This followed the safe venting of a temporary transport container of ethylene gas via the flare.
QUEENSLAND CURTIS LNG workers are being kept indoors as a precautionary measure following an ethylene leak on the QCLNG site last night.
Bechtel said early indications suggested a valve on a piece of equipment containing Ethylene had developed a minor leak.
Bechtel Gladstone general manager Kevin Berg said as a precautionary measure, they immediately implemented safety procedures across the site. These will remain in place until the leak is corrected by the supplier.
"These will remain in place until the leak is corrected by the supplier," he said.
"Night shift crews departed as scheduled early this morning and today's dayshift arrived on site as normal.
"There is no requirement for any further action to be taken until the repair is complete."
A full risk assessment had been undertaken and Mr Berg said there was absolutely no risk to any team members on site.
He said the remaining Ethylene had been safely vented through the flare this morning, which temporarily caused a dark plume across the Gladstone skyline.
Regulators have been fully informed of the situation, he said.
The other two LNG sites are operating as normal.
WHAT IS ETHYLENE
Ethylene is the feedstock in the manufacture of polyethylene and is also used in the process to ripen various fruits - such as bananas.
WHERE IS ETHYLENE USED ON SITE
Ethylene is neither produced nor consumed in the LNG plant. The ethylene is used as a refrigerant, which means it is cycled through compression, cooling, and expansion, which makes it very cold. It then absorbs heat energy from the natural gas stream, cooling the plant feed gas in stages.