WORK on the Fortescue River Gas Pipeline (FGRP), which connects the Solomon Hub mining operations of Fortescue Metals Group to the Dampier to Bunbury Natural Gas Pipeline (DBNGP) was completed within the iron ore company’s schedule, despite being ten weeks late.

The FGRP is the second natural gas pipeline to be constructed and commissioned by Duet Group subsidiary DBP Development Group (DDG), this one also built with joint venture partner and TransAlta subsidiary TEC Pilbara.

Total forecast cost to complete the project is currently estimated at $183 million, DDG said, adding that the pipeline was built within an “aggressive nine month timeframe.”

The pipeline will take gas from the DBNGP’s Compressor Station 1 to the 125MW TransAlta power station at Solomon Hub, allowing it to convert from power generation from diesel generation to natural gas, making Fortescue’s operation more environmentally friendly and cost effective.

A Fortescue subsidiary, FMG Pilbara Pty Ltd, is the foundation shipper on the FRGP under a 20-year, 100% take-or-pay gas transportation agreement.

At 270 kilometres in length, DDG said the FRGP is the longest gas pipeline built in Western Australia in over a decade.

DBP chief executive Stuart Johnston said the pipeline was one of the Pilbara’s most important pieces of energy infrastructure and would help fuel future development in the region.

“The FRGP will help meet the current energy needs of mining projects in Pilbara, as well as facilitating further development opportunities and facilitating both cost reduction and resource project export productivity,” Mr Johnston said.

“DBP has an outstanding reputation as a safe and reliable developer, owner and operator of critical energy pipeline infrastructure in Western Australia. We are proud to have continued these standards through construction of the FRGP.”

DDG had previously built the 110 kilometre Wheatstone Ashburton West Pipeline project, a spur to the DBNGP, which was completed on time and within its budget cap, the group said.

The project included the refurbishment of the existing 10 inch, 87 kilometre pipeline that stretches from Ashburton West to Compressor Station 2 on the DBNGP.

DDG then built an 87 kilometre 16 inch pipeline (loop) alongside the existing 10 inch pipeline and a new 22 kilometre 16 inch pipeline, connecting Ashburton West to the Wheatstone project’s domestic gas plant.