Japanese player Inpex has seen the hull of its giant Ichthys floating production storage and offloading unit launched out of a South Korean shipyard.
The hull of the unit, set for the Ichthys liquefied natural gas project in the Browse basin off Australia, was launched from Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering’s Okpo facility on Sunday, Inpex said on Monday.
The hull was floated out of the drydock to a nearby quayside where it will undergo further construction work.
Late last month Inpex revealed that the giant project, in which the Japanese player is partners by French supermajor Total, had reached the halfway stage with 50% of the overall project scope completed.
The milestone came less than two-and-a-half years since Inpex and its partners began construction on the project in April 2012.
Offshore fabrication for the project began in January last year, while the keel-laying for the floating production, storage and offloading vessel and the hull block assembly for the central processing facility began earlier this year at yards in South Korea.
Output from Ichthys is currently scheduled to start up by the end of 2016 with expected peak production of 8.4 million tonnes per annum of LNG, 1.6 million tpa of liquid petroleum gas and up to 100,000 barrels per day of condensate.
The project is being fed by the Ichthys gas and condensate field, which lies in the Browse basin off the coast of Western Australia.
Gas from the field will be exported via an 889-kilometre subsea pipeline to the onshore processing facilities near Darwin in the Northern Territory, while condensate from the field will be pumped to the FPSO and then transferred to tankers for delivery
Inpex operates the project on behalf of joint venture partners Total, Tokyo Gas, Osaka Gas, Chubu Electric Power and Toho Gas.