Samsung Heavy Cuts First Steel for Ichthys LNG Semisub

Inpex revealed Friday that Ichthys LNG is on track to deliver first gas by year-end 2016, with the first steel cutting of the project’s semisubmersible platform conducted by Samsung Heavy Industries in South Korea Friday.

The 492-foot by 361-foot (150 meter by 110 meter) large central processing facility (CPF) will displace 140,000 tonnes and have a peak gas export rate of 1,657 million standard cubic feet per day, making the semisub platform the largest of its kind.

"This is one of the most exciting parts of the project – the first materialization of what has been many years of hard work; it's when the design comes to life," Inpex's President Director Australia Seiya Ito said in a statement.

The platform's hull will be moored by 28 anchor chains weighing more than 25,000 tonnes, while the project's floating production storage offloading (FPSO) vessel will be moored by an additional 15,000 tonnes of anchor chain.

"The total represents more than the yearly worldwide production of large-scale anchor chains," Inpex noted in its disclosure.

Spain's Vicinay is the sole supplier of anchor chains for the Ichthys liquefied natural gas (LNG) Project.

Earlier in the week, the first steel plates of the FPSO vessel's turret were cut in Singapore.

"This is a momentous week for the Ichthys LNG project as it takes its first big step towards reaching its goal of watching the facilities sail from [South Korea] to Australia in late 2015," Ito remarked.

The development plan for Ichthys includes several subsea wells tied-back to the CPF and the FPSO for condensate. A 528-mile (850-kilometer) subsea pipeline will be constructed to transport the gas to a LNG processing plant in Blaydin Point, Darwin.

Onshore installations consist of two LNG trains with a capacity of 4.2 million tonnes per year each and facilities for the extraction and the export of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and condensate. In addition to its LNG production, the Ichthys project is expected to generate 1.6 million tonnes per year of LPG and 100,000 barrels of condensate a day at peak.

The entire annual production of LNG from Ichthys LNG (8.4 million tons per year) has already been sold for 15 years under oil-linked price contracts, mostly directed to third-party consortiums of Taiwanese and Japanese buyers.

Ichthys is operated by Inpex with a 66.07 percent interest. The remaining stakes are held by Total (30 percent), Tokyo Gas (1.575 percent), Osaka Gas (1.200 percent), Chubu Electric (0.735 percent) and Toho Gas (0.420 percent).


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