Samsung Heavy Industries has launched the semi-submersible that will serve as the central processing facility (CPF) for the giant Ichthys LNG project off Western Australia.
Located about 139 miles (224km) offshore Western Australia in the Browse Basin, the Itchys field represents the largest discovery of hydrocarbon liquids in Australia in 40 years and is ranked among the most significant oil and gas projects in the world.
The column-stabilized CPF is the main offshore component of the project, supporting hydrocarbon processing systems and utilities, as well providing offshore accommodations for about 200 people.
Natural gas and condensate from the Ichthys Field will undergo initial processing on the CPF to extract condensate and water and remove impurities in order to make the gas suitable for transmission to Darwin via the 552 mile (889km) gas export pipeline (GEP).
Most of the condensate will be transferred to a nearby floating production, storage and offloading facility (FPSO) for offshore processing and export to markets, with the remainder sent to Darwin with the gas via the GEP.
The Ichthys Project’s CPF will be the world’s largest semi-submersible platform. Construction on the facility began in 2013 and once finished, it will be towed about 3,500 miles (5,600km) to the Ichthys Field in the Browse Basin where it will be permanently moored by 28 mooring lines and 25,000 tonnes of anchor chain for the 40-year life of the project.
The Ichthys LNG Project is a Joint Venture between INPEX group serving as the Operator, and major partners Total, CPC Corporation Taiwan, and the Australian subsidiaries of Tokyo Gas, Osaka Gas, Kansai Electric Power, Chubu Electric Power and Toho Gas.
At its peak, the Project is expected to produce 8.4 million tonnes of LNG and 1.6 million tonnes of LPG per annum, along with more than 100,000 barrels of condensate. Production is scheduled to begin in 2016.
“To see this enormous facility in the water is a testament to those who have worked for years to make it a reality,” commented INPEX President Director Australia Seiya Ito. “This milestone is a clear demonstration that the Ichthys LNG Project is making good progress and that we are working in an excellent spirit of cooperation with our Korean contractors.”