Indian ship quarantined

A CONTAMINATION scare on an Indian vessel holding pipes bound for a major Central Queensland gas project was investigated by the nation's quarantine service earlier this week.

The pipes were bound for a 420km pipeline from Arcadia Valley to Curtis Island as part of Santos's Gladstone LNG project.

A man involved in the pipe delivery said yesterday that he believed the ship was quarantined after arriving in Port Alma on Monday.

But the man, who asked not to be named, said he believed the source of the contamination scare was weevils imported on board the ship.

Yesterday, the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service confirmed Biosecurity officers had inspected the cargo ship, but found no evidence of pests.

A department spokesman said the officer had, however, found evidence of grain and Yellow Pea in and around the steel pipes onboard the ship.

He said: "The vessel has previously been carrying these grains.

"Biosecurity are working with the importer to have the grain and residue cleared from the pipes and the vessel."

The shipment was one of the first of many shipments of steel pipe to be used in pipelines across Central Queensland.

But the department spokesman said no pests had been found on that ship, and there had been no issues in previous shipments by the same importer.

He said the inspection and following investigation was an example of "Australia's biosecurity system working".

He said: "The ship's staff have been advised that they should ensure all products are clean from plant material or soil in the future."