Worker dies on Ichthys turret job

Artist impression: the Ichthys FPSO, when complete, will be stationed off Western Australia

A subcontractor has been killed at Keppel’s Benoi Shipyard where he was carrying out work on the turret destined for the floating production, storage and offloading vessel which will be stationed at Inpex’s Ichthys project, off Australia.

Inpex confirmed it had been informed of the worker’s death by SBM Offshore, which was awarded the engineering, procurement, fabrication and supply contract for the Ichthys FPSO turret and mooring system in 2012.

“Inpex Australia employees were advised of the incident early on Tuesday 20 May, 2014. Our deepest sympathies are with the family of the deceased,” Inpex said in a statement to Upstream.

“SBM Offshore has confirmed that the incident involved confined space activities and that similar activities were immediately suspended at Keppel shipyards pending investigations into the cause of the incident.”

The employee was working for Alpine Engineering Services, a subcontractor to the Keppel shipyard which has been contracted by SBM Offshore to construct the 7000 tonne turret which will be capable of accommodating up to 15 risers and will be designed for 40 years of operation.

Keppel confirmed the incident to Upstream in an emailed statement: “It is with deep regret that we confirm a 27-year-old worker of Indian nationality employed by a subcontractor of Keppel Shipyard passed away in the afternoon of 19 May 2014 at National University Hospital (NUH), Singapore.

The deceased worker was a Rope Access personnel and he was working at a turret fabrication site at Keppel Shipyard on the morning of 19 May. 

“While working inside a large tube at the site, he was found unconscious by his fellow workers. The worker was immediately sent to NUH for medical treatment but passed away later from cardiac-respiratory failure.

“We would like to convey our deepest condolences to the family of the worker, and are rendering all necessary assistance to them.

 Keppel Shipyard said it is investigating the cause of this incident, and is also assisting the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) in the investigations, adding no other worker was injured in the incident. There was no stop work order from the MOM but Keppel Shipyard voluntarily suspended work temporarily in the confined space while the investigation is ongoing.

It added that Work had since partially commenced in that space and will fully resume in the next few days.       

The MOM did not respond to a request for comment from Upstream while a spokesperson for SBM Offshore confirmed the incident but could not release more information at this time.

An Inpex spokesperson was unable to comment at this point if the incident would affect the schedule for the delivery of the FPSO.

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.

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