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Case Study

Rapid Growth Project 6 Nelson Point – conformance monitoring

Aerial view of Nelson Point

Protecting sensitive coral and mangrove communities through a complete diverless solution.

The Situation

As part of the Rapid Growth Project 6 (RGP6), BHP Billiton Iron Ore undertook dredging works adjacent to Nelson Point in Port Hedland Harbor, Western Australia. The dredging activities allowed the construction of two new shipping berths, along with extensions to the existing berth pockets, departure channel and swing basin in the inner harbour.

Monitoring was required to protect sensitive coral and mangrove communities living within the inner harbour. This is an area known to be inhabited by crocodiles, and therefore, the marine monitoring approach had to be innovative to eliminate diving and non-essential field activities.

Approach

Our consultants undertook water quality monitoring, and coral and mangrove health surveys to monitor natural and dredge-induced impacts associated with the project around Port Hedland Harbour.

To limit health, safety and environment risks, our team was committed to providing a diverless solution to every aspect of monitoring required.

This involved:

  • A highly successful Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) coral monitoring system
  • Installation of remote telemetry water quality logging systems
  • Development of innovative diverless solutions for locating, raising and servicing marine water quality monitoring equipment
  • Development of acoustic modem systems to download data from reference sites, without leaving the vessel
  • Application of leaf area scanning technology for monitoring short-term impacts to mangrove communities
  • A commitment to rapid reporting, involving presentation of survey results to dredge engineers onsite before the team leaves the field

We were able to eliminate a key risk to BHP Billiton Iron Ore and our team, whilst still being able to monitor impacts in real time, without exposing our personnel to unnecessary HSE risk.

Results

We were able to eliminate a key risk to BHP Billiton Iron Ore and our team, whilst still being able to monitor impacts in real time, without exposing our personnel to unnecessary HSE risk.

The elimination of diving was the start of a journey for our parent company, WorleyParsons – winning the 2011 APPEA Safety Innovation Award (judges and industry choice) for the complete solution.

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