Young Pipeline Forum participants (YPFers) from around Australia embark on tour of BlueScope Steel’s Port Kembla plant.

Young Pipeline Forum participants (YPFers) from around Australia embark on tour of BlueScope Steel’s Port Kembla plant.

Gang at the Gong

28 June 2007

The much anticipated 'Gang at the Gong' tour occurred on 12-13 April, with twenty eager Young Pipeline Forum participants (YPFers) from around Australia in attendance.

Day 1 of the tour started with most of YPFers taking the bus from Sydney Domestic Airport to Wollongong. After settling into the hotel, a shuttle bus took participants to Australia’s Industry World, situated at BlueScope Steel’s Port Kembla plant.

YPFers viewing coils

After a presentation on the overall steel making process and lunch provided by BlueScope Steel, the tour began at the Basic Oxygen Steelmaking furnace. The group was constantly in awe of the display of heat and power of the process and the flashes of very bright, and extremely hot, molten metal. There were many questions about the process as it was the first time most had seen steel making first hand.

After that the group viewed the continuous casting machine which displayed unimaginable heat and the group empathised with the people working around the clock in those conditions.

The tour moved on to the rolling division, where the slabs of steel were subjected to numerous thermo mechanical processes that resulted in the formation of coiled line pipe steel, another process displaying awesome size and power.

At the conclusion of the visit to BlueScope the group thanked their hosts and returned to the bus for the quick trip to the hotel to get ready for the APIA dinner that was being held in Sydney that night.

The dinner was excellent and provided an opportunity for the YPFers to network with other senior and more regular members of APIA. They also were impressed by the presentation about the construction of the Bolivia to Brazil pipeline.

YPFers viewing pipes

Day 2 began with breakfast at the Orrcon Steel and Tube plant. There the story continued, with a tour and explanation of rolled steel line pipe. Here the steel was unwound, bent, shaped, welded and cut into lengths of pipe. The pipes were then subjected to numerous tests both destructive and non-destructive to ensure quality was kept to the highest standard.

The tour then moved to OneSteel where a presentation awaited the group along with some brain food in order to ensure the questions kept coming.

Bredero Shaw was the next stop with a tour of their plant, exhibiting coating of small diameter pipe with Fusion Bonded Epoxy. This tour was reinforced with an educational talk on the different coatings that are available and discussions were encouraged over afternoon tea.

The day drew to a conclusion with a presentation and stockpile yard tour of the APC Socotherm plant. A factory tour was not possible due to operational constraints.

Gang at Gong Coil Gang at Gong Truck Gang at Gong Factory tour

The tour was a success with great educational value enlightening all individuals. It provided networking opportunities to make friends on both professional and personal levels and fun was had by all. Many thanks go to BlueScope Steel, Orrcon, OneSteel, Bredero Shaw, APC Socotherm and APIA, for organising, supporting and sponsoring this event. Without companies and enthusiastic people like the APIA members, an event like this would never have the impact or influence that it did. Thank you!


Mark Dragar, Senior Integrity Engineer, Alinta Asset Management & YPF State Representative NSW/ACT