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The 3,000-plus-bed Gorgon Construction Village, now being developed on Barrow Island, will offer a home away from home for the project's on-site workers, and its development will provide a range of local economic benefits.

The state-of-the-art accommodation village is being designed and built by the Thiess, Decmil and Kentz (TDK) joint venture under a AU$500 million (US$458 million) contract. Adding to the local economic benefits, mattresses for the beds will be made in Australia under a separate multimillion dollar contract. When completed in late 2011, the village will offer a safe and enjoyable living environment for management, supervisors, workers and visitors to the island.


Drawing of Gorgon Construction Village

The new Gorgon Construction Village is due for completion in late 2011.

Gorgon is Australia's single largest resource project to date. At peak construction, it is projected to generate about 10,000 direct and indirect jobs in Australia. Its scope includes the country's largest subsea development; long-distance, subsea pipelines; three, 5 million-metric-tons-per-year LNG trains and a domestic gas plant on Barrow Island; and LNG shipping facilities.

Gorgon Project Downstream Manager Paul McGrath said the village was designed in keeping with the island's status as an A-Class Nature Reserve, and the project team worked closely with the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service on the most appropriate design and fabrication methods.

"While the design of the village is sensitive to the project's conservation requirements, it will also set a new industry benchmark in living standards," McGrath said.

Included in the village will be cyclone-rated, two-story accommodation clusters — each designed to house 348 single units. The clusters will be connected to a two-story central "Galleria."

"The Galleria will provide a communal facility for the residents and contain personal laundries, indoor games areas, TV viewing and relaxation areas, an internet café and an open self-serve kitchen area," McGrath said.

Each bedroom has been designed to be stylish and practical with bathrooms, card key access, feature walls, custom-designed furniture, refrigerators, wall-mounted flat screen cable TVs, internet connectivity and a phone.

"The rooms will also have individually addressable smoke detectors and speakers providing public address and voice alarm security," McGrath added.

Decmil CEO Scott Criddle said the village will represent a major step change in the quality of project accommodation units and facilities throughout the global resource industry.

It's a view shared by Kentz CEO Hugh O'Donnell, who said the village would include extensive indoor and outdoor recreation facilities, such as two fully equipped gyms, three large swimming pools, cricket nets, multipurpose tennis and basketball courts, two soccer fields, golf driving nets, two bocce courts, putting greens and an outdoor cinema.

Two eating areas, each with large relaxation and barbecue sections, will give workers an opportunity to relax near the sports fields.

"Within these areas, residents will be able to enjoy a relaxing cold drink and a bite to eat from the barbie in the company of their colleagues while watching others play cricket or soccer," O'Donnell said.

As a commitment to the environment, the village will also have its own on-island, remotely located wastewater treatment facility and power generation plant. A fire-detection and fire-fighting system has also been incorporated into the design.

In addition, a major feature of the overall village design will be the complete segregation of vehicular and pedestrian traffic. And to minimize the disturbance of Barrow Island's Flatback Turtle population, the village will have specially reduced light and noise spill into the surrounding environment.

"We have set out to provide a sanctuary and a unique lifestyle experience so that people are happy to rest and enjoy the experience of living on Barrow Island," O'Donnell said.

Thiess Managing Director David Saxelby said one of the most significant aspects of the project was the fact it offered enormous potential for local jobs and up to 70 per cent of the contract requirements being sourced locally.

"The bulk of the activities such as fabrication of catering, laundry, recreation facilities and the installation will be done in Western Australia," Saxelby said.

Updated: September 2010

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