Heron Island Research Station Contract Awarded


17 March 2022

Dunstans Construction Group Awarded University of Queensland Contract for the Heron Island Research Station

Dunstans Construction Group (Dunstans) – a leading provider of strategic and complex engineering solutions – has been awarded a contract by the University of Queensland to install two seawater intakes at the Heron Island Research Station on the Great Barrier Reef, using its unique horizontal directional drilling expertise to avoid environmental disturbance.

Dunstans has been providing design and construct services to the University of Queensland on Heron Island since 2018.

The seawater intakes require two 520 metre pipelines to be installed by horizontal directional drilling from Heron Island to an offshore subsea location. The pipelines will be tunnelled underneath the coral reef to protect the marine environment.

The construction project involves works within a controlled and sensitive environmental setting. The Queensland Government and the Commonwealth administer strict biosecurity controls to protect the World Heritage Area, which stipulates the equipment and materials Dunstans is able to use.

Dunstan’s has also committed to the protection of native vegetation, coral beds, bird and turtle nesting habitats and a shallow fresh/brackish groundwater lens during the project.

Managing Director Murray Dunstan said the Company’s reputable safety and successful past horizontal directional drilling projects in sensitive environmental areas validated its capability to complete the complex marine project. “The Heron Island Research Station is a world-class marine station and the new seawater intakes will provide high quality ambient seawater for research laboratories and aquariums,” Mr. Dunstan said.

“Being awarded this contract is a validation of the current quality and efficiency of Dunstans’ horizontal directional drilling offering and is a testament to efforts we have taken to build a highly collaborative and trusted association with the University of Queensland.

“The environmental sensitivity of the location of this work is not lost on us and we will take all necessary precautions to ensure we deliver this project in a way that respects the location and the work of the University of Queensland’s researchers on Heron Island.”