Shell has announced that it has finally begun construction of its giant, first-of-a-kind Prelude Floating Liquefied Natural Gas (FLNG) facility.
Once completed, the 488 m x 74 m facility will begin operations approximately 200 km offshore Western Australia. The announcement was marked by the cutting of the first steel at the Geoje shipyard in South Korea. Mattias Bichsel, Shell Projects & Technology Director was quoted as saying “We are cutting 7.6 tons of steel for the Prelude floating liquefied natural gas facility today, but in total, more than 260 000 tons of steel will be fabricated and assembled for the facility. That’s around five times the amount of steel used to build the Sydney Harbour Bridge.”
The construction of the mammoth vessel will be an equally mammoth task with 5000 people involved in the construction in South Korea. An additional 1000 people are expected to be employed around the world on various other Prelude-related construction projects including the turret mooring system, subsea and well equipment.
What sets FLNG facilities apart from FPSOs is that they will be able to process natural gas at sea, liquefy it and then act as an export terminal for LNG carrier vessels. Once constructed, Prelude is expected to remain offshore Australia for 25 years with an annual production rate of 3.6 million tpy of LNG.
Edited from various sources by David Bizley
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