MEPAU has completed deconstruction activities at five redundant processing plants and smaller facilities across the Perth Basin region, giving an opportunity for Dongara Men in Sheds to help provide benefits to its local community. Men in Sheds members provided support through introductions to specialist contractors and clean-up of the smaller recyclable materials while raising funds for a community project.

Deconstruction is the first stage of removing a redundant production facility. It involved removing all above ground metal processing equipment and infrastructure, most of which was made available for scrap metal recycling.

The Woodada site was completed at the end of December 2020.

Equipment removal from a storage tank area, the Dongara 30 group, and a well site, Dongara 10, were completed during January 2021.

Removal of equipment at the Dongara Production Facility (DPF),the first gas production facility in Western Australia, was finished in February 2021.

Deconstruction of the nearby Hovea facility equipment has been completed and old storage tanks have been removed.

MEPAU’s Campaign and Major Works Coordinator says favourable scrap metal prices in a challenging economic environment allowed the work to benefit all parties.

Dongara Men in Sheds Playing an Active Role

Dongara Men in Sheds was initially approached by MEPAU with an idea to start removing redundant infrastructure through recycling of materials and raising some money for the local community.

The introduction to Dongara Men in Sheds was made after being involved in a scrap metal initiative with Beach Energy, a Joint Venture Partner with MEPAU.

After a field tour taking in all five sites it became apparent that the MEPAU deconstruction job required specialist skills and large machinery, so the Men in Sheds referred MEPAU to Scrap Metal Recycling company C.D. Dodd.

C.D. Dodd worked collaboratively with MEPAU to undertake the deconstruction activities with the understanding that a portion of scrap metal funds would be donated to the Men in Sheds in recognition of their key role. The quantity of scrap metal removed exceeded initial estimates. The collaboration between MEPAU and Dongara Men in Sheds demonstrates that support and benefit goes both ways.

Copper Wire Stripping Project

The Dongara Men in Sheds President says they worked from December 2020 through to March 2021 to strip copper wire from the sites, with 6-10 volunteers working on the project each morning.

The work was labour intensive and occurred often in the heat. However, the volunteers’ efforts were well worth the effort as the financial rewards benefit local community groups.

Although a decision hasn’t yet been made for use of the donated funds, Dongara Men in Sheds is working with the Shire of Irwin to identify a good project that will benefit the community of Dongara-Port Denison.

MEPAU committed to reducing its footprint

MEPAU’s Campaign and Major Works Coordinator has been working in the Dongara Basin since 2003. He says he has seen companies come and go, and although many make a commitment to remove redundant and unused equipment, they often don’t follow through.

By contrast, MEPAU is committed to removing equipment that is no longer being used, and he says it’s very rewarding to see it going this way. Decommissioning facilities following the end of field life is a statutory commitment.

The Dongara Production Facility, which was producing from 1971-2016, will continue to be used as the base for MEPAU Perth Basin Operations, with the administrative office remaining in place along with condensate tanks and water tanks, for now.

Copper cabling in place ready for removal
Copper cabling in place ready for removal
Deconstruction of Dongara Production Facility equipment
Deconstruction of Dongara Production Facility equipment
Copper cabling ready for stripping by Dongara Men in Sheds
Copper cabling ready for stripping by Dongara Men in Sheds

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The Northern Perth Basin

The northern Perth Basin is a prolific oil and gas producing area covering a large portion of the Mid West region of Western Australia. The town of Dongara, located approximately 360km north of Perth, is the regional economic hub for a number of energy industries.