Shell’s Prelude floating liquefied natural gas facility has arrived in Australian waters. Image: Shell.
BY ELIZABETH FABRI
ROYAL Dutch Shell’s $US12 billion Prelude floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) facility has arrived in Australian waters less than a month after leaving Samsung Heavy Industries shipyard in South Korea.
The massive 488 metre long and 74 metre wide floating facility is the world’s largest vessel, set to produce up to 5.3 million tonnes per annum of liquids, 3.6mtpa of LNG, 1.3mtpa of condensate and 400,000 tonnes of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) per annum.
The project will be moored off the Browse Basin WA for 25 years, and initially extract and process gas from subsea wells 475km offshore at the Prelude and Concerto gas fields.
On arrival, 16 pre-installed mooring chains will be lifted from the seabed and secured to the facility, and then hook-up and commissioning will begin, which was expected to take between 9 and 12 months.
Shell Australia chairman Zoe Yujnovich said the arrival of the Prelude FLNG facility ‘signalled a new era’ for the Australian LNG export industry, as it was the first floating liquefaction facility to be deployed in local waters.
“Prelude’s arrival is a clear demonstration of Shell’s long standing commitment to investment and development in Australia – delivering significant economic benefits to the nation,” Ms Yujnovich said.
Shell estimated about 800 personnel will be required offshore for hook-up and commissioning, with additional accommodation support vessels to be sent to the project during this phase.
Ms Yujnovich said Shell awarded a number of contracts to Australian companies, and had partnered with South Metropolitan TAFE, WA to develop specific training for Prelude technicians.
“One hundred and fifty technicians have been trained across a broad range of critical skills, including helicopter landing and refuelling skills, rigging, scaffolding and first aid,” Ms Yujnovich said.
Once operational, the project will employ 260 local workers on board the facility, with first cashflow expected during 2018.