Tuesday, November 12, 2013

What Brought Us Here - The Work-Related Reason

What brought you to Australia?

That is a question we get quite frequently.  I wish we could say that we came just for the opportunity to travel and see the other side of the world.  While we have done a lot of that, that isn't why we are really here.  We came here on a job assignment with my husband's company.  My husband works for a large international construction company that does most of its work in the oil, gas, and chemicals industry.  One of their biggest contracts currently (we're talking billions and billions of dollars- something I can't even wrap my head around) is here in little old Gladstone, Australia.  Just off the coast of this small port town on Curtis Island, they are building three large LNG (liquid natural gas) plants.  So, that's why we're here.  David is working on one of those three LNG projects- along with close to 8,000 other employees (both international and Australian). 

For as little as I know about this type of thing, I've actually (surprisingly) found it really interesting to be so close to such a large-scale construction project.  Unfortunately, the island and the construction sites themselves have pretty heavy security, so you cannot normally access the sites unless you are an employee.  Luckily, I've had the opportunity to get pretty close to the constructions sites on two occasions. 

When my parents came to visit, we were able to go on an informational ferry cruise that cruised past the construction sites on Curtis Island.  It was pretty neat to be able to see how seriously massive these things are.  And also neat to see where my husband spends from 5AM to 6PM six days a week.

Our ferry for the "cruise"
This is a far-away view of just ONE of the THREE nearly identical plants they're constructing
The red/orange dome is one of the gas tanks
Another gas tank.  It's hard to tell from the photo, but these cranes were the most massive ones I've ever seen.

The coal ship in the photo below is not related to the projects at all, but it's an example of one of the many massive coal ships that are constantly in and out of the port here.  Gladstone is also a major coal exporter for the world (mostly China).  Those little "boxes" you see at the top on the crane?  Those are the huge containers that you usually see on semi trucks.  They look so tiny on this giant ship!
Then in early September, the company actually opened up the site for an employee family tour day.  We got to actually tour the island itself (by ferry and bus), which was really neat.  Unfortunately, with all the security, they were very strict about enforcing that no photography was allowed. 
Walking to get back on the ferry after the tour.  The only photo I was brave enough to sneak. 
So many cranes!  And tons of progress can be seen since the previous photos (2.5 months time)
Here's a short time-lapse video (it's only 30 seconds) that shows the roof on one of the tanks being lifted.  Kind of nerdy, but pretty cool, too! 

So, there you have it.  Not the most exciting story of what brought us here.  But this is it!  Really proud of my husband and his hard work here! 

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  1. Thanks for posting this, Megan. In Houston, I practiced law, doing a good bit of construction law, mainly offshore oil/gas related. Like you, I'm a little fascinated by massive construction projects like this. So cool that this is close enough to explore (as much as you can, given security). And look at those crystal blue skies. Beautiful!

  2. Such a fun opportunity! I always wonder about this type of thing!

  3. Construction on this scale is really interesting - and a really informative post about it too!



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