Inpex starts up Ichthys LNG power plant

The Inpex-operated Ichthys LNG project has initiated a start-up of gas turbine generators at the onshore power plant near Darwin, Australia.

Inpex said on Friday that this milestone was a significant step towards power generation at the project’s onshore combined cycle power plant (CCPP).

Ichthys project managing director, Louis Bon, said: “Initiating the safe start-up of the gas turbine generators (GTG) illustrates the strong commitment of the onshore team to overcome challenges and achieve our targets.

“The combined cycle power plant uses gas and steam turbines together to produce up to 50 percent more electricity from the same amount of fuel compared with a traditional simple-cycle plant.”

The waste heat from the gas turbines will be used to create steam for the nearby steam turbine system, which generates extra power. Ultimately powered by natural gas from the Ichthys Field, the CCPP will use a mix of five gas and three steam turbine generators to supply all the electricity requirements for onshore processing of LNG.

The power plant has the capacity for up to 490 megawatts of electricity, which allows LNG processing trains to cool and liquefy natural gas.

“With more than 50 per cent energy efficiency, the CCPP will provide energy efficiency well above the 30-35 per cent typically achieved by a standard industrial gas turbine open cycle power plant and will allow the project to use saved fuel gas to produce more LNG,” Bon added.

Inpex said that, when fully operational, the Ichthys LNG project would have the capacity to produce up to 8.9 million tonnes per annum (Mta) of LNG, up to 1.65 million tonnes per annum (Mta) of liquefied petroleum gas, and 100,000 barrels of condensate a day (at peak).

When it comes to offshore components of the Ichthys LNG project, the Ichthys Explorer central processing platform (CPF) was moored in the field in June while the Ichthys Venturer floating production, storage and offloading facility (FPSO) was moored about two months later, in late August.

In addition, a naming ceremony for the Oceanic Breeze tanker that will be transporting 0.9 million tons of liquefied natural gas per year produced from Ichthys took place in late October at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ shipyard in Nagasaki. The Oceanic Breeze will join another tanker, the Pacific Breeze, in a fleet which will be chartered by Inpex to transport Ichthys-produced LNG.

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