The problem

First Gas, one of New Zealand’s largest gas networks operators, was looking for safe and efficient ways of training for operating and maintaining more than 2,500 km of their high-pressure gas transmission pipeline and 4,800kms of gas distribution network across the North Island.

To do this, First Gas needs to ensure its people are trained well and prepared for all types of situations, including many of which are difficult to understand on paper.

The solution

Company-X was asked to design and develop a custom-built virtual reality (VR) training programme.

The Company-X virtual reality team developed a solution using VR headgear replicating, in exacting detail, the high-risk procedure for emergency venting of a ruptured pipeline before maintenance can be carried out.

By making this a virtual experience the team could practice emergency responses in a safe, controlled way.

Company-X built a true-to-life VR model of the Te Kowhai DP Main Line Valve (MLV) in the Waikato.

The team used state-of-the-art point cloud scanning technology and as-built drawings to collect accurate location and dimension data of all pipework and components.

This information meant the experience was based in the actual workplace for First Gas and meant the learning was directly transferable to real-life situations.

The verdict

First Gas Information Services Project Manager Reuben Uncles said: “The First Gas project team was delighted to work with Company-X and found their approach to the project to be well thought out, which in turn made it easy for us to know what was required from us, and what their project team was responsible for.

“Throughout the project we were impressed with the communication, documentation and continuous progress updates provided by their project team.

"The project management was well delivered with detailed updates leaving us confident the project was always controlled and would be delivered on schedule.

“The delivered products possessed the ‘wow’ factor we wanted to show that training for high-risk activities can now be virtualised in a fun and engaging manner, removing almost all risk to our people and assets in a cost-effective manner.”

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Services Provided
Virtual reality
Technologies Used
Unity 3d, Maya, MegaScans, Substance Painter