Northern Oil Refinery Project

Nov 18, 2014

Fitzroy Engineering’s contract for the Northern Oil Refineries’ multi-million-dollar oil recycling project in Gladstone, Queensland, was completed mid-year and highlighted its engineering expertise on both sides of the Tasman, plus that of Malaysian owners Dialog Group Berhad.

"The successful completion of this A$30 million project is a hugely significant milestone for Fitzroy Engineering, the first major project where we have undertaken all the engineering, procurement, fabrication and construction.  We have delivered an outstanding result for our client" says Fitzroy Managing Director Richard Ellis.

The NOR project was Fitzroy’s biggest clean energy contract so far and further proof of New Zealand’s ability to compete for and win significant overseas engineering contracts by taking an innovative, fit-for-purpose, niche engineering approach.

Vital to the success of the contract was Fitzroy’s ability to maximise the economic opportunities available through allocating components of the fabrication and construction to the various Fitzroy controlled  facilities.  The 34 storage tanks were built at Dialog’s lower cost fabrication facility in Malaysia and subsequently barged to site in Gladstone for installation; the major processing module was built in the high specification construction yard in New Plymouth; the pipe bridges and supports, and tank farm piping was fabricated at Fitzroy Engineering’s workshop in Brisbane.

Staff from Fitzroy in Brisbane, with assistance from New Plymouth, carried out the installations of the module, tanks, piping and balance of plant; management of instrumentation and electrical engineers installing the hot oil heater, oxidiser and other equipment, then commissioning and final handover to Northern Oil.

The fabrication of Fitzroy’s 1000th pressure vessel which was installed into the process module, was another milestone enjoyed during the development of this project.

Northern Oil Refineries – a joint venture between Southern Oil Refining and JJ Richards & Sons – started the re-refining project in May 2011 and commissioned the new facility during early to mid-2014.

The NOR plant is now gathering up to 100 million litres per annum of waste lubricant oil from mining and agricultural machinery, transporting it to the refinery and processing it into about 60 million litres of hydrocarbon-based oils for re-blending and re-use in the Australian lubricating market.

It is producing refined oils that are exceeding the required quality specifications and has the potential to reduce Australian carbon emissions by at least 320,000 tonnes per year.

Fitzroy partnered with Northern Oil Refining to determine the best outcome, then completed all of the structural, process and engineering design for the project, executed the  engineering, fabrication and construction as a complete package, which was a first for Fitzroy Engineering,” says Richard.

“We have achieved a fantastic result and this now puts us in a completely different engineering space,” he adds.