Workers at the INPEX-operated Ichthys LNG Project have begun lifting the first topside modules onto the hulls of its two major offshore facilities.

The lifts mark the start of the topsides integration phase for the central processing facility (CPF) and the floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) facility.

This phase involves the hull and topsides for each facility coming together as single, connected structures for the first time – their components (or modules) having been fabricated separately.

Ichthys Project Managing Director, Louis Bon, said the CPF and FPSO topside module lifts, which are the first in a sequence, were a major step towards the completion of the two world-class, semi-submersible facilities.

“These module lifts on our CPF and FPSO mark the start of the topsides integration phase for the Ichthys LNG Project’s offshore facilities, which is a very important progression,” Mr Bon said.

“These are some of the biggest and most sophisticated facilities of their kind in the world, so it also very exciting for everyone involved seeing the hulls and topsides being connected.

“Successful delivery of these facilities is of great importance, because they are the centre of the Project’s offshore development and need to operate safely and productively in the Browse Basin for more than 40 years.”

The CPF and FPSO topsides include equipment required to safely and efficiently process, store and offload gas and condensate offshore from reservoirs in the Ichthys Field, as well as living quarters for the workforce on both facilities.

Gas and some condensate from the CPF will be sent through an 889 kilometre gas export pipeline to the Project’s onshore LNG facilities in Darwin. Stabilised condensate from the FPSO will periodically be offloaded to shuttle carriers for export directly to market.

The combined weight of all topside modules for both facilities is about 120,000 tonnes.

The first CPF topside module lift occurred on 15 April 2015. The module weighed about 3600 tonnes and was 50 metres long, 43 metres wide and 26 metres high.

The first FPSO topside module lift occurred on 20 April 2015. The module weighed about 2010 tonnes.

The Ichthys LNG Project held ceremonies on 21 and 22 April to mark the milestones in Okpo and Geoje, South Korea, at Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) and Samsung Heavy Industries shipyards, where the FPSO and CPF are being constructed.

Once complete, the CPF and FPSO will be towed 5600 kilometres to the Ichthys Field in the Browse Basin, offshore Western Australia, where they will be moored permanently to the seabed for the life of the Project.

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