Shell’s Prelude floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) facility has arrived at its location, the Prelude field, 475km North-North East of Broome.
The facility left the Samsung Heavy Industries shipyard in Geoje, South Korea where it was built, at the end of last month.
Shell said that 16 pre-positioned mooring chains will now be lifted from the seabed and secured to the facility.
“Once secure, the hook-up and commissioning phase of the project can commence which is expected to take between 9-12 months,” the company’s statement reads.
Following the hook-up is completion numerous system tests, berthing trials and imports of LNG and LPG will be carried out to facilitate commissioning.
Shell Australia chairman Zoe Yujnovich said the arrival of the Prelude FLNG facility signaled a new era for the Australian LNG export industry, with the first floating liquefaction facility deployed in local waters.
Shell had awarded a majority of Prelude contracts to Australian contractors, including the contract awarded to Australian engineering company Monadelphous for maintenance and modification services valued at $200 million.
Shell also partnered up with South Metropolitan TAFE in Western Australia to develop specific training for Prelude technicians, 150 of which have been trained across a broad range of critical skills, Yujnovich said.
The Prelude FLNG facility will produce 3.6 million tons per annum (mtpa) of LNG, 1.3 mtpa of condensate and 0.4 mtpa of LPG.
The project will be operated by Shell in a joint venture with Inpex (17.5 percent), Kogas (10 percent) and OPIC (5 percent).