UK supermajor BP has shipped the first cargo from the delayed multibillion-dollar Train 3 expansion project at its Tangguh liquefied natural gas project in Papua Barat (West Papua) province, Indonesia.

This delivery marks the start of commercial operations from the 3.8 million tonnes per annum Train 3, that has boosted nameplate liquefaction capacity at the remote facility to 11.4 million tpa.

BP confirmed that the first cargo from the new train on Wednesday sailed from Tangguh onboard the LNG carrier Prima Concord en route to domestic foundation customer Indonesia’s state-owned electricity company Perusahaan Listrik Negara’s (PLN) facility in Aceh, in the far west of the archipelago.

“With its expanded production capacity, the Tangguh facility will play a vital role in helping to meet Indonesia’s growing energy demand, total gas production at Tangguh is expected to account for over a third of national gas production,” said Dwi Soetjipto, chairman of Indonesia’s upstream regulator SKK Migas.

“Tangguh is the largest LNG producer in Indonesia and the production from Tangguh's three-train operation will significantly contribute to the national gas production target of 12 billion cubic feet per day by 2030.”

In addition to the new train, the Tangguh expansion project included construction of two offshore platforms, 13 new production wells, an LNG loading facility and supporting infrastructure.

At peak, more than 13,500 workers were involved in the project’s development at the remote site, with a total of more than 155 million workhours spent to complete the project.

“The safe and successful start-up of Train 3 marks a new phase for Tangguh and is a proud day for bp and our Tangguh partners. I would like to thank the government of Indonesia for our strong partnership and their continued support that has made this possible,” commented Anja-Isabel Dotzenrath, BP EVP, gas and low carbon energy.

Since beginning operations in 2009, Tangguh has worked to create positive social and economic impacts through comprehensive community development programmes, noted BP.

Train 3 will further enhance this, with a portion of the gas committed for electrification in Papua Barat, and the project aims to continue to increase the proportion of Papuans in Tangguh’s workforce from 73% today to meet its commitment of 85% by 2029, the project operator said.

“Tangguh is important both to BP and to Indonesia. It is expected to account for more than a third of the country’s gas production and make a significant contribution to meeting the country’s growing needs for reliable and affordable energy,” added Dotzenrath.

“For bp, building our gas and LNG business is central to our strategy as we transform to an integrated energy company, investing in today’s hydrocarbon energy system as well as growing new lower carbon businesses.”

The Tangguh expansion is the third major project start-up for BP globally this year, following start of production from the Mad Dog II project in the US Gulf of Mexico and from the MJ field off the east coast of India.

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