Curtis LNG milestones on track: Bechtel

ENGINEERING giant Bechtel says it is on track to complete three additional LNG trains on Curtis Island by the end of 2015 to quadruple Queensland’s LNG output.

Blair Price

The first train on the island was started up by BG Group’s Queensland Curtis LNG project in December with more than 16 export shipments made since.

Bechtel said it was now working on delivering the second train for QCLNG.

“Concurrently, Bechtel teams on the Gladstone LNG [Santos-led] and Australia Pacific LNG plants [downstream operator ConocoPhillips], recently introduced gas into their systems and began producing their own power as part of commissioning the first of two production trains on each site,” the engineering house said.

“The second production trains on each of these projects are expected to be operational in early 2016.”

Bechtel said 6 trains will be operational when it hands over the LNG plants to the owner teams for long-term operation.

“The projects will begin producing LNG in rapid succession over the second half of 2015,” Bechtel global LNG manager Alasdair Cathcart said.

“It’s certainly a time of significant milestones on Curtis Island, as we move though final commissioning and eventually into handover of these projects to the operating teams. It’s all part of a carefully planned program to deliver unprecedented capacity to our customers, further building on our extensive global LNG experience.”

The three Curtis Island projects are designed to produce about 25 million tonnes per annum of LNG when at full capacity. Bechtel said this was equivalent to powering a city the size of Tokyo with 13 million people.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Federal Industry and Science Minister Ian Macfarlane recently toured the QCLNG plant to commemorate the start of commercial operations from the first QCLNG train.

Mitchell Ingram, managing director of BG subsidiary QGC, made a tribute to Bechtel at the event.

“Congratulations to our team and Bechtel who have worked hard to achieve this milestone,” he said.

The three Curtis LNG projects are the first based on converting CSG resources into exportable LNG.

In April, Macquarie Wealth Management said that the GLNG target of first LNG production in the September quarter was comfortably achievable while UBS said there was potential for it to start in August.

Last month Macquarie tipped the APLNG project to hit its first LNG production milestone in October.