Bechtel announced it has successfully completed the world’s first conversion of natural gas derived from coal seams into liquefied natural gas (LNG). On Dec. 28 BG Group began loading the first supply of LNG from Bechtel’s Queensland Curtis LNG (QCLNG) facility in Australia. The start of production from the plant’s first LNG train is the result of more than four years of development and construction on Curtis Island.
The first vessel being loaded is the Methane Rita Andrea. The second cargo of LNG from the facility will be loaded onto the Methane Mickie Harper which is expected in Gladstone in the first week of January.
“It’s taken 6,000 people working on the QCLNG project around the world to bring this first cargo of LNG to reality,” said Bechtel Global LNG General Manager Alasdair Cathcar. “The significance of this milestone cannot be underestimated. It’s a fantastic achievement that has been achieved by a fantastic team.”
The QCLNG project connects more than 2,000 onshore wells, which flow into a 335 mile pipeline that moves the gas to the liquefaction facility on Curtis Island. The gas is then chilled to -259.6 degrees Fahrenheit to become a liquid, which makes it 600 times smaller enabling it to be stored and transported in LNG vessels to markets around the world.
Bechtel is currently building six production trains on Curtis Island, which will produce about 25 million metric tons of LNG annually when complete in early 2016, the equivalent to powering a city the size of Tokyo with 13 million people.
Bechtel is also the principal downstream contractor for the Chevron-operated Wheatstone Project in Western Australia.