The hull for Eni’s groundbreaking Coral Sul floating liquefied natural vessel was launched in South Korea on Tuesday.

The FLNG vessel is being built at Samsung Heavy Industries' yard in Geoje and is due to be on location and producing off Mozambique in 2022.

Japan’s JGC and London-based TechnipFMC are working with Samsung on constructing the vessel.

The overall Coral Sul project now more than 60% complete, according to Eni.

The hull is 432 metres long and 66 metres wide and weighs about 140,000 tonnes.

Its eight-storey accommodation module, which will house up to 350 people, is ready to be lifted and integrated with the hull system.

Fabrication activities, said the operator, are also well under way for 12 gas treatment and LNG modules, with all main equipment ready for integration and first deck stacking executed.

With a gas liquefaction capacity of 3.4 million tons per annum, the Coral Sul vessel will be the first FLNG vessel ever deployed in water depths of some 2000 metres and the first purpose-build FLNG in Africa, said the operator.

Drilling and completion activities for the six subsea development wells that will feed gas to the liquefaction unit are ongoing in Area 4 off Mozambique.

Adriano Mongini, Eni’s head of East Africa, described the hull launch as “an outstanding milestone,” adding that Eni shared the belief of the project partners and government that “Coral South is a pioneering project that will trigger further developments and new investments”.

Carlos Zacarias, chairman of Mozambique’s industry regulator, the National Petroleum Institute (INP), said that when Coral South comes on stream in 2022, it will represent the first cargo of LNG that Mozambique will have produced and will be a boost to the country’s economy.

He said the project will result in “transformations in job creation, (the) development of local business and incomes from LNG sales … benefiting the Mozambican state and people.”

Several initiatives have been put in place by Eni and its partners to add value locally.

These include enhancing the overall capabilities of the local workforce and supply chain, as well as developing local small and medium size enterprises.

Direct training and recruitment activities for more than 800 Mozambicans are being implemented in Mozambique, South Korea and Italy, while vocational training opportunities and local content initiatives are being carried out by the Coral South contractors.

Eni’s partners in Area 4 are ExxonMobil, China National Petroleum Corporation, Galp Energia, Kogas and state-owned ENH.

Launched: The hull for Eni's Coral Sul FLNG vessel at Samsung Heavy Industries' yard in Korea Photo: ENI