Australia: Ichthys LNG module deliveries nearing end

Ichthys LNG onshore facilities,, Bladin Point near Darwin (Image courtesy of Inpex)
Ichthys LNG onshore facilities, Bladin Point near Darwin (Image courtesy of Inpex)

The Inpex-operated Ichthys LNG project in Australia said Friday that the largest module of the final three shipments was recently offloaded at Bladin Point near Darwin.

The 5,100 tonne fractionation module will be used as part of the first LNG processing train to separate ethane, propane and butane after the gas has been treated.

The offloading process from the semi-submersible vessel Forte took around 90 minutes, then another four hours to move the module through the construction site and onto its foundations, according to the latest project construction update.

Mike Webb, JKC’s Module Offloading Facility Operations Manager said each module delivery requires a “huge amount of logistical planning.” JKC is responsible for the engineering, procurement and construction of the Ichthys onshore LNG facilities, including the plant at Bladin Point.

The module moved on Saturday is longer than the length of an Olympic swimming pool, and weighs more than 4,000 small cars, so attention to detail is vital as each ship has different capabilities and limitations,” Webb said.

According to Webb, the main challenge was to develop plans and procedures to safely discharge 230 modules and other process equipment in Darwin Harbour where the tides can vary up to eight metres in a day.

We have used seven module carrier vessels, two barges, numerous heavy lift freighters and a specialised ballasting pontoon to safely offload the modules and process equipment without incident.”

Modules are transported to site on specialised vessels capable of submerging the main deck under water. By filling or emptying the various ballast tanks, the vessels can remain level through tidal movement while the modules roll off.

According to the update, there are just five process modules left to ship from the last fabrication yard, with two of the five remaining modules due to arrive in Darwin Harbour next week.

Inpex announced in September last year that it had postponed production start-up at its $34 billion Ichthys project until the third quarter of 2017, from the end of 2016.

The Japanese company also raised the project’s annual LNG production capacity by approximately 6% to 8.9 MTPA from the initially planned 8.4 MTPA.

The Ichthys project is a joint venture between Inpex, major partner Total, Taiwan’s CPC Corporation and the Australian subsidiaries of Tokyo Gas, Osaka Gas, Kansai Electric, Chubu Electric Power and Toho Gas.


LNG World News Staff

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