by Steven Randall
The Ichthys project is one of the largest LNG / condensate projects ever built, and is being constructed by the Japanese INPEX group, for a Joint Venture between Inpex (62.245%), Total Energy of France (30%), Taiwan's CPC Corporation (2.625%), Tokyo Gas (1.575%), Osaka Gas (1.2%), Kansai Electric (1.2%), JERA (0.735% and Toho Gas (0.42%.
The total cost of this monster project is between A$ 28 - 30 Billion, and has taken over ten year to bring from concept to nearing completion. The project is actually 3 huge projects in one: starting with one of the world's largest Semi Submersible oil and gas processing plants. This giant platform will contain the initial processing plants to separate the Natural gas from oil and other products, along with the crew living quarters.
The platform is 130 meters high, and 150 m x 110 m in area on topsides. When it's complete, it will be towed the 6000 km to it's home over the Ichthys gas field - 400 km North of Broome, WA, and spend near 40 years processing the gas. It will be anchored to the bottom by 40,000 tons of chains, all attached to 20,000 tons of piling driven into the sea floor. It will be able to withstand a Category 5 cyclone.
The liquid condensates and other products from Ichthys will initally be pumped across to the next huge piece of the puzzle - a floating storage unit - shown here being built in the Daewoo Shipyards in South Korea. This will store and ship products directly to the company's buyers and markets. It will hold about 1 million barrels of condensate, or over 150 million litres when fully loaded.
The Natural Gas, the product the whole project is built to produce, is then pumped through the longest undersea gas delivery pipeline in the world - 890 km from the fields through to Darwin. Below is pictured the huge pipe laying ship that has been involved in laying this massive steel transportation system from Darwin out around the challenging Kimberley coast, and into the fields of the WA coast..
When the gas reaches Darwin, it will be processed by a large, state of the art LNG processing plant that will have the capacity to produce 8.9 million tons of LNG and 1.6 million tons of LPG a year, and 100,000 barrels of oil per day when the plant is at full capacity.
The facility will include two LNG trains, LPG plant, storage tanks, processing and staff facilities and shipping facilities.
Like it's sister project Prelude, Ichthys has had contributions from engineering groups across the world; from Japan to countries in Asia; Europe; The United Stataes and Australia. The project will have given Australians 3- 4,000 jobs; and put over $13 billion into the Australian economy by the time it's completed. The benefits to us will continue long after the last weld is completed, and again displays the continuing relationships between Australian and international groups, as we seek to benefit from our natural resources.
Next article we will have a look at the Eastern seaboard of Australia, and the massive Coal Seam Gas (or CSG) fuelled LNG industry that has grown up in and around Gladstone, along with three very large LNG plants.on Curtis Island.
Our thanks to Inpex / Offshore Energy.com / Subsea World News for the base data.
More information about the Asia Pacific LNG industry in found on the
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