Inpex invites bids for Ichthys onshore packages

Japanese operator Inpex has issued invitations to tender for the major onshore construction packages for its $20 billion-plus Ichthys liquefied natural gas project in Australia, writes Amanda Battersby.

Bids have been sought for the gas processing facilities and associated infrastructure for the onshore liquefaction plant that is planned at Blaydin Point, Darwin in the Northern Territory.

Contracts up for grabs include fabrication of the gas processing units, the LNG, liquid petroleum gas and condensate storage tanks, civil works and site preparation, loading jetty and building the workforce’s accommodation.

The onshore front-end engineering and design contractor — the JGC, Chiyoda and KBR joint venture — is undertaking the tender process for the various onshore packages.

“This is another important milestone for the Ichthys project as we move toward a final investment decision in the fourth quarter 2011,” said Inpex’s Australia president director Seiya Ito.

He added that Ichthys would not go ahead until all the environmental and other regulatory approvals had been received from the federal and state governments.

“Once all the environmental and development approvals are in place and we have reached a final investment decision we will be in a good position to start construction on Ichthys in early 2012,” he added.

Gas from the Ichthys field off Western Australia will be initially processed offshore to separate the condensate and remove water before being delivered via an 885-kilometre pipeline to the liquefaction facilities at Darwin.

The project is aiming to produce 8.4 million tonnes per annum of LNG from two trains plus 100,000 barrels per day of condensate and 1.6 million tonnes per year of LPG at peak.

Inpex last month invited bids for the engineering, procurement and construction contract for Ichthys’ semi-submersible central processing platform that will be one of the largest in the world. The complementing FPSO will be able to store 1.14 million barrels of condensate.

The project has adopted an Australian industry participation plan whereby all bidders have to commit to giving fair and reasonable opportunities to local suppliers.

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