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Aerial Drone of NSS @ Work

NSS recently partnered up with SkyDronics to bring you a series of aerial drone videos of just some of the services we offer at NSS.

YouTube Berth3 Ferrite Loading

YouTube TruckConvoy

Move drone video and other NSS videos can be found over on our YouTube Channel.


Wolff Group push into semi-autonomous technology

The drivers’ seats may be empty, but that won’t stop these dozers pushing dirt.

Toowoomba-based Wolff Group is putting the latest semi-autonomous tractor system technology to the test in real mine conditions, with three Cat D11T machines going to work at an open-cut coal mine in central Queensland from July.

The Australian-first production trial is being conducted in partnership with Hastings Deering and Caterpillar.

“These machines will be game-changers for the mining sector,“ Wolff Mining director Terry Wolff said.

“The unpredictable nature of the resources sector means companies need to run more efficiently than ever before.

“Technology will allow for resilience: not only paving the way for increasing productivity rates and operational excellence, but will also play a critical role in continuity and extending employment. It is about being smarter, safer and future proofing business.”

The technology allows one operator to oversee the activities of multiple D11T tractors from a safe and remote location.

Co-director Wanda Wolff said the machines would allow people previously excluded from in-cab, manual operation of dozers to enter the industry.

“The repetitive nature of this kind of excavations, including tasks of ripping rock, means workers usually retired before they were 50,” she said.
“These machines will allow operators to be upskilled, creating a more adaptive organisation. We are excited to be involved; as a smaller, agile company we will quickly adapt to unlock and fully leverage the potential of the technology in shaping the future of our business.”

Wolff Group, Hastings Deering and Caterpillar showcased the machines at a three day Industry Demonstration Event at Willawong in Brisbane.

Hastings Deering Executive General Manager – Mining Mark Scott said the equipment had been tested in research trial conditions at Black Thunder Mine in Wyoming, USA.

“This trial is the first of this scale in Australia and outside previous test environments,” Mr Scott said.

“It is also the first production implementation of Caterpillar’s COMMAND for Dozing semi-autonomous tractor system: the very latest in technology and part of Caterpillar’s wider MineStar suite of technology for mine site automation of hauling and drilling.”

Mr Scott said utilising the remote dozing technology would reduce unit costs through increasing dozer operation, increased process consistency (consistent process management) and increased execution of best in class practices.

The mine-site trial is expected to run for 18 months.

Spiecapag to lead Queensland pipeline work
Jemena has appointed Spiecapag Australia to construct the Queensland portion of the $800 million Northern Gas Pipeline project following a four-month competitive tender process.

Project director Jonathan Spink said Spiecapag Australia would construct about 141km of the pipeline from east of the Queensland border to the pipeline’s end-point in Mount Isa.

The announcement means Jemena has now appointed construction partners for the full-length of the Northern Gas Pipeline, with McConnell Dowell selected in early June to construct 481km of the 622km pipeline.

Spiecapag to lead Queensland pipeline work
Project director Jonathan Spink.

“Spiecapag Australia are seasoned pipeline constructors who demonstrated great skill and capability throughout the tender process. They are also well equipped to respond to the unique terrain the pipeline will cross in Queensland, and have a reputation of working collaboratively and closely with local communities,” Mr Spink said.

He said Jemena had secured a range of approvals – including its pipeline licence and consent to construct from the Northern Territory Government – which would allow it to proceed with its 2017 NGP construction schedule.

“We anticipate commencing construction of the NGP in the Territory in the coming weeks, with around 200km to be built this year. Now that we have appointed a construction partner for the Queensland end of the pipeline we will also look closely at our project plan, with a view to commencing construction there as soon as practicable.”

The pipeline is expected to be commissioned in late 2018.

ICN Gateway runs listings for work packages associated with the project at 
Adani opens online portals to Carmichael work opportunities

Carmichael coal project proponent Adani Australia today launched dedicated regional supplier and employment portals.

Introduced on the Adani Supplier Roadshow earlier this year, the portals will provide a single point of contact and information for those wishing to tender for work or employment on the Carmichael mine, rail and port projects.

Their launch followed the opening of the company’s Townsville regional headquarters and contractor announcements earlier this month.

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Adani Australia chief executive officer and country head Jeyakumar Janakaraj described the portals as a cornerstone of the Adani Regional Content Strategy.

“We’ve consistently had a strong focus on providing jobs and supply opportunities for Queensland, and these portals will allow us to make this a reality,” Mr Janakaraj said.

“Our Regional Content Strategy is based around identifying an efficient market, effective engagement with workers, suppliers and contractors, and enabling partnerships with all levels of government and economic development organisations to ensure long-term benefits for Queensland.”

The supplier portal, hosted through specialist regional content platform EconomX, will handle supplier registration for Adani and its subcontractors on the Carmichael projects.

The official gateway for job opportunities for the Carmichael project will be via a uWorkIn portal, which is designed to act as the single point of contact for Adani as well as top-tier suppliers and contractors to connect with regional Queensland’s workers.

The portals can be accessed via
Port geared up for influx of Carmichael cargo

Port of Townsville is preparing large laydown areas for Adani’s project cargo to be stored or partly assembled as the Carmichael coal mine and rail construction draws near.

First import cargo for the Carmichael project is expected at Townsville in the final quarter of 2017, according to Port of Townsville Limited general manager business development Claudia Brumme-Smith.

“In the first few years we expect around a million tonnes/cubic metres of imports into Townsville,” she said.

“The biggest influx of cargo will be during the construction and development stage of Adani’s port, rail and mine project, with more regular and steady supplies of freight once the Carmichael mine is operational.”

Project cargo, fuel and general cargo for the Carmichael mine, rail and port project will all be channelled through Townsville.
“Due to its proximity and its triple road train access to the mine site, Townsville Port presents a highly efficient and cost-effective import supply chain solution,” Ms Brumme-Smith said.

“Once mine operations begin, the Port of Townsville and its service providers will continue to support Adani’s Carmichael mine with supplies such as fuel, equipment, vehicles, tyres and containerised cargo.”

Ms Brumme-Smith said the port’s trade and logistics teams had been working very closely with Adani over the past few years to ensure the port was ready to accommodate their requirements.

“A number of infrastructure investments made over the past five years by the Port of Townsville as well as private companies such as stevedores and fuel suppliers have ensured that Townsville Port is well equipped and prepared in anticipation of not only the Carmichael mine project, but also a number of other major projects in the pipeline,” she said.
These investments have included:
* An $85 million upgrade of Berth 10 completed in 2013 and a $40 million upgrade of Berth 4 which is due for completion in December 2017.
Port stevedores have invested in heavy-duty mobile harbour cranes as well as new cargo storage areas and cargo handling equipment.
* The $217 million Townsville Port Access Road completed in 2012, which will play a key role in facilitating efficient cargo operations from Townsville Port to mine site – enabling triple road train access from port berths through to the Carmichael mine site.
* The $130 million Townsville Marine Precinct, which will be used for barging large pieces of equipment from Townsville Port to Abbot Point, taking trucks off the Bruce Highway.
Adani will use existing berth infrastructure at the Port of Townsville.

“Adani’s Carmichael mine is a significant project for the Port of Townsville and its service providers such as stevedores, shipping lines, shipping agents, freight forwarders and transport companies,” Ms Brumme-Smith said.

“The project will generate strong port activity, which has important direct and flow-on effects for jobs, suppliers and service providers in the region.

“Through detailed planning and proactive engagement with Adani we will ensure smooth cargo operation and optimised supply chain solutions.”
Defence training with some help from friends

The US Army is flexing its muscle again in Central Queensland.

With the help of NSS stevedores, more than 400 loads of military hardware, including helicopters, were discharged at Gladstone port recently.

It was bound for Shoalwater Bay near Rockhampton in support of joint operation Talisman Sabre (TS17).

TS17 is a biennial combined Australian and United States training activity, designed to hone both combat readiness and the way the allies combine to fight the enemy.

It’s the seventh time the exercise has been conducted and involves more than 30,000 Australian and US defence personnel.

TS17 will incorporate force preparation activities, Special Forces activities, amphibious landings, parachuting, land force manoeuvre, and urban, air and maritime operations.

There’ll also be coordinated firing of live ammunition and explosive ordnance from small arms, artillery, naval vessels and aircraft, the Department of Defence said.

The majority of TS17 field training exercise activities will take place in Shoalwater Bay Training Area.

Field activities will also occur in Mount Bundy Training Area, south of Darwin.

TS17 is scheduled to take place from late June through to late July 2017. 
NSS unloads an icon

NSS project cargo expertise was recently called on to carefully discharge a national icon.

The Lockheed Super Constellation has arrived in its resting place at the Qantas Founders Museum where it’ll be preserved for posterity.

The aircraft took to the road for its final destination in Longreach after being discharged from the Port of Townsville.

NSS carried out the stevedoring for the special arrival, calling on their expert rigger Gary Abraham to facilitate the operation.

The aircraft was shipped from Manila to Townsville and then taken by road to the central western Queensland destination.

The museum purchased the Lockheed Super Constellation in September 2014 at an auction of old aircraft organised by the Manila International Airport Authority. 

It had been grounded for 25 years.

Wikipedia tells us that in 1958, Qantas became the second round-the-world airline, flying Super Constellations westward from Australia to London through Asia and the Middle East.

Around 570 L-1049 Super Constellations were built between 1951 and 1958. More than half were used by the military.

The Qantas Founders Museum is an independent, not-for-profit community organisation and registered charity operating since 1936 to commemorate the ethos and preserve the material heritage of Qantas Airways Ltd.

The museum collection includes the Consolidated PBY Catalina Flying Boar, Douglas DC-3, Boeing 707 and the Boeing 747 as well as full-scale replicas of the de Havilland DH-61 Giant Moth, de Havilland DH-50 and Avro Dyak, which was the company’s first aircraft.