INPEX floats world's biggest semi-submersible

INPEX central processing facility (CPF) in South Korea.

INPEX central processing facility (CPF) in South Korea.

INPEX has officially floated its central processing facility (CPF) in South Korea and is set to begin towing the massive structure thousands of kilometres to its soon-to-be home in the Browse Basin.

A statement issued by the Japanese company yesterday said the Ichthys LNG CPF was completed and floated at the Samsung Heavy Industries shipyard in Geoje on 19 September.

The huge structure measures 130 m by 120 m topside, and will be towed 5,600 km to its new home in the Browse Basin offshore of Western Australia, where it will be moored for the 40-year life of the Ichthys LNG project.

The first CPF topside module alone weighed in at about 3,600 tonnes. The combined weight of the CPF topside modules is about 71,000 t.

It will be the world’s largest semi-submersible platform.

Construction on the CPF began in January 2013.

INPEX president director for Australia Seiya Ito said the launch was one of the Project’s most significant milestones.

“To see this enormous facility in the water is a testament to those who have worked for years to make it a reality,” he 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 co-operation with our Korean contractors.”

Managing director of the Ichthys LNG Project, Louis Bon said the launch 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. All teams are working together in a very efficient manner to achieve our next targets.”

The Ichthys LNG Project will lift natural gas from the Browse basin, Western Australia before being transporting it to the onshore gas liquefaction plant in Darwin, Northern Territory.

When complete and in operation, Ichthys is expected to produce and ship about 8.9 MMt of LNG and 1.6 MMt of LPG per year, along with approximately 100,000 BBl/d of condensate at peak.

Ichthys is operated by INPEX (62.245 per cent) alongside TOTAL (30 per cent), CPC Corporation Taiwan (2.625 per cent), Tokyo Gas (1.575 per cent), Osaka Gas (1.2 per cent), Kansai Electric (1.2 per cent), Chubu Electric Power (0.735 per cent) and Toho Gas (0.42 per cent).

Enter your details to subscribe to the free fortnightly Gas Today e-newsletter

Thank you for signing up for the Gas Today Online Update.