One of Queensland’s largest construction projects has come to a close, as BG Group takes handover of the QCLNG Train 2 from Bechtel Australia and begins commercial operation.
It is anticipated that by mid-2016 the QCLNG project will produce enough gas to load ten vessels each month, equivalent to eight million tonnes per year for export to Japan, China and Singapore.
The cost of the QCLNG project construction was $US20.4 billion, part of a $US70 billion overall cost of all three gas projects on Curtis Island.
Since starting production from Train 1 in December 2014, BG Group’s Australian subsidiary QGC (Queensland Gas Company) has shipped 71 cargoes to date.
A spokesperson for QGC said Bechtel had completely demobilised from the site by Wednesday 25 November.
Bechtel LNG general manager Alasdair Cathcart thanked the entire Bechtel Australia and QGC teams for their hard work and commitment to the project.
“More than seven years of planning, construction and commissioning work have led us to this moment,” he said.
“We stand proud as we hand over a world-class plant that will serve our customer well for decades to come.
“QCLNG’s success is a tribute to everyone working collaboratively on the project – Bechtel and QGC teams, our supply chain, and the Gladstone community.
"We put our expertise and experience into bringing this plant to life and finding innovative solutions to challenges of megaproject construction."
BG Group chief executive Helge Lund said the QGC and Bechtel teams deserved “great credit” for their completion of the project.
“I would also like to thank our partners, contractors, government authorities including the State of Queensland, together with the landholders and the communities from across the Surat Basin to Curtis Island for their support,” he said.
“They all helped us to not only connect QCLNG to more wells than any liquefaction plant in the world, but establish a new LNG industry based on natural gas in coal seams.
“With both trains now fully operational, QCLNG adds significant volumes and flexibility to our LNG shipping and marketing portfolio.”
QCLNG Train 1 is owned in a 50/50 joint venture between BG Group and China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), while 97.5 per cent of Train 2 is owned by BG Group with a 2.5 per cent share to Tokyo Gas, a foundation customer for QGC.
Recently BG group announced that the ACCC had approved unconditional merger clearance between BG Group and Royal Dutch Shell.
Approvals from Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) and China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) are still required for the merger to go ahead, as well as approval from Shell and BG shareholders.
Around 6000 people were employed during the construction of the QCLNG plant, which took five years from site preparation to completion.
The Santos GLNG project produced its first cargo of gas in October this year, and is expected to complete construction of Train 2 in the second quarter of 2016.
Origin Energy’s APLNG project has been pegged for imminent completion in November, according to a statement made last month, with first gas to be shipped before the end of 2015.
Ahead of their start-up, gas from APLNG has been sold to BG Group for export, however these sale prices have been linked to oil and were described as “barely profitable” by Macquarie Group.
The world’s largest private construction contractor, Bechtel is currently responsible for around 40 per cent of the world’s LNG construction projects, including Chevron’s Wheatstone project in Western Australia, and employs 58,000 people in 40 countries.