Alarm sounds – It’s Monday on-site and I’ve got a big night ahead. Before work I usually like to get in some exercise. Today, I’ve decided on swimming a few laps in the pool instead of heading to the gym or playing basketball.
I get dressed into my PPE and head the mess for breakfast. I also pack enough food for lunch and snacks for the rest of the night. I walk to catch the 4.45pm bus to the site office.
Time to speak with my back-to-back who is working day shift. We undertake a handover to outline progress made during the prior shift, highlight any issues confronted, transfer unfinished work and define work priorities for the upcoming night shift.
Pre-start kicks off at 6.00pm to discuss the major maintenance work to be executed, important safety considerations and concurrent site operations that may impact the work schedule. Turnaround is a very busy time on site! It’s important to identify any work that may impact the activities of other teams and minimise disruption where possible.
Now that the maintenance items are clarified, it’s time to make our way down to the gas turbine deck where I have a make-shift desk made from scaffolding.
By the time we have arrived at the turbine deck, signed off the permit to work and reviewed the job hazard analysis, it’s time to start the turbine exhaust inspection. As this inspection requires entry into a confined space, it is important to ensure all pockets are empty and required tools are secured via lanyards prior to entry. This ensures no foreign materials are dropped and left behind within the exhaust, which could cause severe damage to the machine during startup.
We inspect the turbine exhaust plenum for signs of wear or damage such as cracks on the exhaust seal welds or diffuser. Any findings are photographed and recorded in the quality assurance master checklist for further investigation.
The first quality assurance inspection for the night is complete. To monitor this progress, I sign off this action item in the work pack and make a note in my handover notes as a reference for my back-to-back. Time for a break. I head back to the crib room to recharge, grab some food, and catch up with the team over a coffee.
Our second agenda item for the night is the installation of a pressure control valve in the turbine hydraulic system. As a quality assurance representative, it is my role to check the site quality check list and flange management data system to ensure the valve is installed correctly. This involves inspecting the pipework and flanges, confirming the correct O-rings/gaskets are used and informing the team of the correct bolt tightening torque for each joint. These quality measures validate the valve is properly installed and sealed as required. This is especially important for rotating equipment as the vibration associated with operation can cause joint leakage.
Once installed and all joint bolts are tightened the maintenance tag is removed from the equipment and work is signed off as complete.
It’s time for a second break. We head back to the crib room for some more food and hydration. One benefit of working night shift is that you avoid working in the heat, but the high humidity at Barrow Island means it’s still important to drink plenty of water throughout the shift.
The final work scope for the shift is removing some exhaust cooling pipework surrounding the turbine casing. This is required such that the top half of the turbine casing can be removed further down the track in the maintenance schedule. As the quality representative I must inspect each pipe spool as it is removed and record any signs of damage. The spooling is labelled with specific tag numbers so it can be easily identified for re-installation following internal turbine maintenance activities.
We have finished up work at the turbine deck. With a bit of spare time, a colleague has taken the time to show me around the plant. As a mechanical engineer I’m always trying to better understand the facility from an LNG process perspective. I’m very fortunate to be surrounded by so many great people at Chevron who are willing to share their knowledge about different aspects of the facility.
I arrive back at the site office and meet my back-to-back who has arrived for the start of his day shift. We complete the handover promptly, so I have ample time to make the bus back to the camp.
I arrive back at camp as the sun begins to rise. I head to the mess for a quick dinner before heading to my room and chilling out. I wind down with a good book or catching up on some football highlights before hopping into bed. Big night again tomorrow!