Rio Tinto Amrun Chith export facility recognised for civil construction

Image: McConnell Dowell

Image: McConnell Dowell

Rio Tinto’s Amrun Chith export facility has been recognised for its excellence in civil construction with the Queensland Civil Contractors Federation (CFC) Earth Award.

The $75 million project boasts a new 650-metre long access jetty and a 350-metre long loading wharf.

Both the jetty and wharf are fully equipped with conveyors, roadways and access walkways, creating a safe work environment that requires no scaffold.

The export facility was constructed by McConnell Dowell, designed by Jacobs and its constructibility was overseen by Rio Tinto’s engineering, procurement and construction management, Bechtel.

The jacket structures and topside modules were fabricated offsite by McConnell Dowell. This has allowed the onsite construction of the jetty and fabrication of the wharf to occur concurrently, delivering safety and quality control benefits.

Rio Tinto area manager Alex Li said, “Having the key people around the table at the beginning of the process drove them to keep asking the important questions: ‘How can we do things better? How can we do the work more efficiently? How can we work more safely?'”

As a result, their combined innovations have reduced potential safety risks to people who needed to spend a lot of time working at height and over water, reducing overall build time by 300,000 hours.

Rio said, “Our approach was to bring together all partners involved in the project and develop a method for building the wharf that would provide maximum safety for our people, have minimum impact on the environment, and leave a lasting legacy for our host communities.”

Amrun was recognised for its world-class engineering project at the 2018 Queensland Mining Awards in July.

The Chith export facility joins Rio Tinto’s greater Amrun project key infrastructure such as the Amrun power station, accommodation village and Arraw dam near Weipa in Far North Queensland.

Rio said the construction of its process facilities, rail mounted machines, Amrun mine centre and Torro tailings storage facility also continued to make solid progress.

The company plans to commence first bauxite production and shipping before the end of the year, ramping up to an estimated full production rate of 22.8 million tonnes per year (Mt/y) by the end of 2019.