The engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) consortium for the Train 3 expansion project at BP’s Tangguh liquefied natural gas project in Indonesia have finally handed over to the UK supermajor.

The Train 3 project will boost nameplate liquefaction capacity at the Tangguh project in West Papua province by 3.8 million tonnes per annum to 11.4 million tpa.

The EPC workscope for Train 3 included the onshore receiving facilities; the utilities, flare and associate infrastructures; and a new one-kilometre LNG jetty, including the LNG and condensate loading berth and boil-off gas recovery.

The EPC followed the front-end engineering and detailed design work that the consortium had performed in Jakarta, Indonesia.

The consortium partners — Saipem of Italy, Indonesia’s Tripatra and Chiyoda of Japan — had handed over the Tangguh LNG expansion project to BP on 1 August.

Saipem noted the project faced several technical challenges due to the feed gas composition and to the remote plant location, which were overcome by implementing a specific design and by developing an innovative execution strategy to effectively manage the extremely challenging logistics due to the lack of the most basic infrastructures.

The project’s first technological challenge was the composition of the feed gases, which are rich in acid gas components with up to 15% carbon dioxide, more than 1% hydrogen sulphide and mercaptans.

“This required advanced treatment, such as acid gas removal and acid gas incineration, as well as a special molecular sieve design,” noted Saipem.

The new train had to be integrated into the existing Tangguh facility with two trains in operation, with appropriate management of the necessary connections and engineering.

The design, checking and integration of the steam and power systems proved to be a demanding technological challenge that required complex dynamics studies, added Saipem.

“Also of note is the innovative arrangement of the new LNG train, which combines the main refrigerant compression areas into a single common structure parallel to the main rack,” said the Italian contractor.

“This arrangement posed new challenges related to hot air recirculation and air coolers, which were faced through computational fluid dynamics (CFD) studies and 3D modelling.”

Significant engagement with Papuan local communities during the entire execution was a fundamental key success factor, added the contractor.

During construction more than 14,000 people were involved at peak, with 200 subcontractors and vendors.

Tangguh is located in a remote area in the far east of the Indonesian archipelago, 3000 kilometres from the main island of Java. For the train expansion project, a 110-strong marine fleet of vessels and barges delivered 4 million freight tonnes of equipment and facilities to the LNG project site.

“It is worth noting that the project also implemented extraordinary mitigation measures to cope with the Covid-19 pandemic, which occurred while construction was at peak, which allowed the project to continue with limited manpower in that difficult period,” said Saipem.

“The team also demonstrated an outstanding commitment in safety which resulted in an exceptional safety performance of more than 129 million of worked hours without LTI (lost time injury), which marks a new record and become a benchmark for the industry.”

The Tangguh Train 3 expansion project involved 4 million cubic metres of earthworks, 13,500 piles, 13,000 tonnes of steel structure, 24,000 tonnes of piping works and 840,000 metres of power cables.

Saipem added the Tangguh Train 3 project allows Indonesia to maintain a significant share of the global LNG market, and it guarantees an important share for exports to other Asian countries, mainly China, South Korea and Japan.

Start-up of the Tangguh Train 3 expansion is expected in September.

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