Floating LNG projects a boom for supply chains

23 June, 2017

Broome’s supply chain will be a hive of activity in the next few months as energy giants Shell and Inpex start installation and commissioning of their respective LNG projects off the Kimberley coast.

After a journey of more than 5600km, Inpex’s Ichthys Explorer – the world’s largest semisubmersible platform – arrived in the Browse Basin on May 29, where it will be moored for the next 40 years.

Shell, meanwhile, confirmed to a Broome community briefing this month that its massive Prelude floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) vessel was expected to arrive at the Browse Basin, 475km km north-north east of Broome, in July or August.

“Once work at the Samsung Heavy Industries shipyard in Geoje, South Korea, is completed, the facility will start its journey to the Prelude field,” a Shell spokeswoman said.

“The complex hook-up and commissioning phase of the project is expected to take between nine and 12 months and, as has been advised previously, the company expects cash flow from the project during 2018,” she said.

Shell approved construction of Prelude in 2011 and the project will be WA’s first floating LNG plant.

Shell has said there were about 150 Australian production technicians working in the Samsung shipyard, and that most of them would man the facility once it is operating.

Both Shell and Inpex are using Broome’s airport for helicopter flights to and from their respective facilities, which are located relatively close to each other in the Browse Basin.

Inpex General Manager of External Affairs Bill Townsend said construction of Ichthys, which included offshore and onshore facilities and an 890km subsea pipeline to connect them, was more than 90 per cent complete.

He will give a full rundown of this fascinating mega-project at the CCI Resource and Construction Conference on 29 June.

CBUS and APE Mobile are sponsors of the event – which features updates from Multiplex, Woodside and NBN – while CBUS is also sponsoring the CCI Construction Industry dinner, alongside Civmec.

Separately, Perth-based Monadelphous said it had secured new contracts and additional work with a combined value of about $125 million, including a subcontract for structural, mechanical, piping, electrical and instrumentation work for Kawasaki Heavy Industries on the cryogenic tanks at Ichthys’ Darwin facilities.

“We are particularly pleased to have secured further works at Ichthys, which underlines our strong performance to date on this project,” Monadelphous Managing Director Rob Velletri said. 

►Get an update on some of WA’s biggest projects – register for the CCI Resource and Construction Conference today.