Friday, 24 June 2011
Challenger Institute of Technology has become the first registered training organisation in Australia to offer trainees in the oil and gas industry the chance to work on a binary distillation column.
The $1.3million piece of infrastructure represents a very significant investment in Challenger's Australian Centre for Energy and Process Training (ACEPT) simulated training plant and will greatly increase the skill levels of workers employed in and entering Western Australia's resources sector.
The distillation column was officially opened on 27 May by WA's Training and Workforce Development Minister Peter Collier.
Addressing an audience that comprised scores of industry leaders from the resources sector, Mr Collier praised the new addition to the ACEPT training facility as a demonstration of the kind of excellent training that is meeting a critical skills demand and producing careers that are crucial to the continuing prosperity and efficiency of the resources industry in WA.
"With ever-increasing skill levels needed as a result of the state's innumerable resources and construction projects, Challenger Institute of Technology must remain at the forefront of industry requirements. The distillation column will ensure Challenger, and through them, Western Australia, preserves this coveted position," said Mr Collier.
The WA Department of Training and Workforce Development contributed $500,000 towards the capital cost of the equipment, with Challenger Institute providing $800,000.
The distillation column demonstrates the principle of fractional distillation, which is an important component of industry-relevant training in the oil and gas and related process industries. Distillation and fractionation operations are found throughout the petroleum, petrochemical and numerous other resource industries.
"With this distillation column replicating those used in the resources industry, ACEPT is now positioned to provide absolutely state-of-the-art training on cutting edge equipment. ACEPT will be training future resources workers on the equipment that is unrivalled at any other training institution in Australia," said Challenger CEO, Liz Harris.
ACEPT students will use the new equipment to learn to manage both the process of distillation and the control strategy using a distributed control system. The distillation column separates a methanol/water mixture in a see-through glass column enabling students to observe the distillation process in its various stages.
The four-metre high column has been installed in a purpose built enclosure incorporating specific safety provisions within the ACEPT process plant compound. It has been configured to be controlled from either within the compound or remotely from ACEPT's central control room.