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Gladstone ASU Decommissioning Project Time Lapse – Air Liquide

In 2005 Air Liquide constructed an Air Separation Unit (ASU) at Yarwun’s Alumina Refinery to supply oxygen to the process. Not long after commissioning, this was deemed too dangerous, but the plant remained online supplying liquid oxygen to Australia’s east coast. After the 15 year lease was up, Air Liquide planned to decommission and demolish the plant. This was until Air Liquide in India, approached Air Liquide in Australia to see if it was feasible to deconstruct the plant and send it to India assist with the worsening COVID crisis there.

The decommissioning Project Manager – Jed Van Iersel asked us to capture a Time Lapse, as well as aerial and hand held media of this historic event. They also chose to utilise our Remote Monitoring Time Lapse option so the deconstruction progress gallery could be monitored from as far away as India. Our time lapse systems consist of a Canon DSLR camera enclosed in a small weather proof housing. It’s completely self-sustainable with a solar rechargeable dual battery system, external memory and its own wifi network. Photos from the camera get uploaded to an online gallery for remote monitoring. Status updates sent to us from the camera also assure us the time lapse is working correctly.


The most critical part of the deconstruction was the lifting of the cold box distillation tower. The tower stood at 47m high, the same height as the roof of the MCG. This required the team to cut the cold box in half, and use two huge cranes to lift each section down onto a flat bed trailer for transport. On the day of the lift, hundreds of spectators came out to watch this milestone moment as the two pieces were lifted down safely.

Both pieces of the cold box tower were trucked to the Gladstone port where modifications were carried out to keep the internals and externals safe during its relocation to India. Both halves of the tower, as well as all other necessary plant equipment were then trucked down to the Port of Brisbane, fumigated and loaded onto a ship for transport.

After a short stop in Dubai, the equipment will get unloaded in Mumbai then trucked 1500km into the centre of India where it will be re-constructed and commissioned to supply a much needed source of oxygen to this region.

It was a pleasure to work with the Air Liquide team, as well as Liberty Industrial and Xtreme Engineering who were tasked with the de-construction, demobilisation, demolishing and returning the site back to bare earth.


A final video was provided to the Air Liquide team to celebrate the successful delivery of this project. If/when the team decides to make the video public, we will include a link to it here.


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