THE THIESS constructed Narrows Crossing tunnel linking Curtis Island with Queensland’s mainland took out the prestigious 2014 Queensland Premier’s Innovation in Sustainable Technologies Award.

The 4.3 kilometre long undersea tunnel, constructed for Saipem Australia and Santos GLNG, was recognised because it provided a conduit for Saipem Australia to install the Santos GLNG gas transmission pipeline without disturbing the sea floor.

The project was also runner-up for the overall Premier’s Sustainability Award.

Thiess managing director Bruce Munro said the collaboration between Thiess, Saipem Australia and Santos GLNG resulted in delivering a great result for the marine environment.

“I acknowledge the visionary decision by Santos GLNG and Saipem Australia to adopt the tunnel solution which was technically more demanding but presented a clear win for the environment,” Mr Munro said.

Santos GLNG downstream vice president Rod Duke said the safe delivery of the first under-sea crossing for Queensland’s CSG-to-LNG industry was a positive result for the industry.

“It took more than 420,000 man-hours to complete the state-of-the-art tunnel and I commend the entire team for their outstanding work,” Mr Duke said.

“Winning the Queensland Premier’s Innovation in Sustainable Technologies Award and being a runner-up for the overall Premier’s Sustainability Award is further proof of a job wel l done.”

The project has also received plaudits for its engineering standards and contribution to the local community.

The development, constructed using a Tunnel Boring Machine which excavated about 55,000 cubic metres of earth, was later used by the Gladstone Regional Council to rehabilitate an ash pond associated with a coal-fired power station.