BG Group will start commissioning its two LNG production trains after coal seam gas was transported from the Surat Basin to its QCLNG project on Curtis Island for the first time.
Due to begin exporting its first LNG in the second half of 2014, QCLNG will be the first of three $70 billion projects on the island to come into production.
Delivery of gas comes after the successful completion of a two-year operation to lay more than 46 000 lengths of one-metre diameter steel pipe over 540 kilometres which the company says is the longest large-diameter buried pipeline in Australia.
BG Group chief executive Chris Finlayson said to have first gas on the island just three years on from the project sanction is a “testament to the expertise and dedication of everyone working on this vast and complex mega-project”.
"Delivering this key milestone demonstrates the advanced stage of development at the world’s first coal seam gas to LNG project. We are now entering the final construction and commissioning phases and we remain firmly on track to deliver first commercial LNG in the second half of 2014, as scheduled and within the $20.4 billion budget,” he said.
"We have overcome many challenges along the way, and we still have more hard work in front of us, but last February I set the tough target to have first gas on Curtis Island by the end of this year, and I am delighted that we have met it."
The two LNG production units on the island are each able to produce more than four million tonnes of LNG per year.
China is set to become one of the world’s largest LNG importers, with analysts predicting the nation will need a fifth of the 272 million tonnes of gas expected to be produced by 2018.
While emerging economies are set to account for 80 per cent of increased global gas demand over the next 20 years.
The Australia Pacific LNG and the Santos-led GLNG both being constructed on the island are set to be completed in 2015.