Shipbuilder Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) has launched the semi-submersible that will serve as the central processing facility (CPF) for Inpex‘s $34bn Ichthys LNG project off Western Australia.
It was launched from SHI’s shipyard in Geoje, South Korea. Inpex president director Australia Seiya Ito said: "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."
Ichthys LNG project managing director Louis Bon said: "The operation was completed within two days in the safest conditions.
"The CPF is now berthed quayside at the shipyard where work is continuing to lift and install the living quarters and integrate and commission all equipment in preparation for the CPF’s sail away."
The project began construction of the CPF in January 2013.
Upon completion, the CPF is expected to be towed 5,600km to the Ichthys field in the Browse Basin and will be permanently moored there for the project.
Japanese company Inpex, which leads the project, has a 62.245% participating interest in it.
Other partners in the project include Total (30%), CPC (2.625%), Tokyo Gas (1.575%), Osaka Gas (1.2%), Kansai Electric (1.2%), Chubu Electric Power (0.735%) and Toho Gas (0.42%).
The large-scale LNG project is expected to be operational over a period of 40 years.
The final investment decision for the project was reached in 2012, with first production set for 2016 and is expected to produce 8.4 million tonnes of LNG and 1.6 million tonnes of LPG a year.
Image: The CPF will be towed 5,600km to the Ichthys field in the Browse Basin. Photo: © INPEX.