by Steven Randall
A few weeks ago we briefly considered the first five of the 11 LNG mega projects currently happening in Australia, and considered the companies who own them. There were a number of very significant relationships between the Australian based producers and the Asian gas buyers who have formed partnerships with us.
Today we will look at the next of these new projects; one of the largest LNG projects ever built; one of which will have a major influence on the LNG industry for decades to come, I am referring to the giant Prelude FLNG project, that will ultimately operate off the West Australian North West Coast.
When completed Prelude will be the largest marine structure ever built. Here are a few facts to give you an idea of the enormous size of this vessel...
The main body is constructed as a double-hulled structure and is being built by Samsung and Technip in South Korea. The project is a joint venture between Royal Dutch Shell (67.5%), Inpex of Japan (17.5%), KOGAS of Korea (10%) and CPC Corporation of Taiwan (5%).
The vessel will be larger than Five Nimitz class aircraft carriers...
- Over 1600 feet long.
- 245 feet wide
- Will displace more than 600,000 tons.
The project is truly international, with sections of the vessel being built in Korea, United Arab Emirates, Spain, France, Malaysia, and other heavy industry sites.
Built to withstand a Category 5 Cyclone, with winds of over 300 km/ hr, the Turret anchoring system is over 100 meters tall, a first in the world- like so many other parts of this massive vessel.
The vessel will be held in position by four groups of six anchor chains, arranged at the four quadrants around the FLNG turret. The chains are secured by suction piles which will penetrate deep into the seabed. Each pile will be 10 mt in diameter and 20-30 mt in length – each weighing between 140-180 tonnes.
When fully operational, Prelude will have cost the Joint Venture partners approximately $US 12.5 Billion. The facility will run the full operational program for extracting and refining the gas as does any onshore LNG plant, but with the great benefit that it is right on the gas fields..
and will also be able to offload it's products directly onto the LNG carriers that will deliver it to clients world wide.
The facility will draw Natural Gas from the Prelude and Concerto gas fields - a part of the massive Browse Basin, cooling the gas to Minus 161 deg C, and produce the following products...
- 3.6 million tons of Liquified Natural Gas - LNG a year.
- 400,000 tons of Liquified Petroleum Gas - LPG ayear.
- 1.3 million tons of Condensates (light oil) a year.
Prelude will sit here on this field for approximately 25 years before needing to be moved for maintenance and a new gas source.
We hope this brief article gives you a glimpse of a truly enormous project, and one that will have a major impact on the global LNG marketplace for many years.
Next time we will look at another Mega build - actually three projects in one - the massive Ichthys LNG project moving towards completion by the Inpex group of Japan.
(Our thanks to Shell Global, Samsung Heavy Industries, SBM Offshore and Wikipedia for the base data.)
For more information about the LNG industry in the Asia Pacific and Australian regions, please visit the Asia West Pacific LNG Terminals map at this link...
or call Business Maps Australia on 0455 296 533.