Curtis Island LNG project hits major milestone

WHEN builders put the roof on a house, they crack open a beer to celebrate.

Imagine the size of the celebration when a team of welders, boilermakers and experts help lift a 1050-tonne ceiling onto a gigantic gas tank.

The $35 billion Australia Pacific LNG project on Curtis Island off Gladstone managed the impressive feat, taking almost eight hours.

The roof was lifted from inside the tank, with five fans installed underneath, creating enough pressure to gently raise the lid to its proper height.

Once there, a specialised team secured it in place.

The APLNG project is owned by Origin, ConocoPhillips and Sinopec.

The Curtis Island site will refine gas supplies funnelled in from the Surat and Bowen basins via a 530km pipeline.

It is expected to operate for 30 years from 2015.

Project manager Kent Anderson said the tank roof will act as a support for a reinforced concrete roof.

The inner element is created from aluminium, chosen because it will allow the gas to remain at cryogenic temperatures of -161 degrees Celsius.

"With the roof of the first tank now in place, we will look to raising the roof on the second tank in coming months, and progress the remaining works on both LNG storage tanks," Mr Anderson said.