Air Energy part of one of the largest projects in southern hemisphere

Industrial pipework specialist, Air Energy in Knoxfield, has just completed supplying a project for a gold mine in outback Australia that houses the largest horizontal fuel farm in the southern hemisphere.

Newmont’s Tanami underground gold mine is 540 kilometres north east of Alice Springs and produces approximately 459,000 ounces of gold a year, making it one of Australia’s most productive — and remotest.

Russell Garrett, Air Energy Managing Director, said 900 metres of Europress stainless steel pressfit crimping system ranging in size from 22 mm to 108 mm diameter was supplied to the contractor constructing the tank farm.

“The reason for choosing a crimping system is that the alternative, manually welding each joint of the pipework, is very time consuming, can be dangerous when working with naked flame and you need hot work permits,” Russell said.

“The pressfit system just crimps the pipes together, which is very fast and very efficient.”

The primary energy source at Tanami is diesel, which provides the power for the vehicles, facilities and infrastructure.

All the diesel is brought on site by triple-tanker road trains.

The fly-in fly-out mine has 1450 employees and contractors who endure temperature highs of above 35 degrees from August to May and above 45 from November to January.

Russell said the sheer portability of installing press fittings without the need for gas bottles, hoses or the dangers of naked flames is a genuine time and money saver for the contractor and Newmont.

“We supplied pipe and fittings for not just the diesel fuel but also the lubricating oils, to keep the mine fleet operational.

A bonus for the mine is that they don’t need to purge out existing lines when they make any alterations or extensions.”