Giant Prelude FLNG facility due in Browse within weeks

Glenn CordingleyBroome Advertiser

Shell has announced its giant Prelude floating liquefied natural gas FLNG project was just weeks away from reaching the offshore Browse Basin, about 475km north of Broome.

At a public information session in the Kimberley town tonight, Prelude vice president David Bird told about 100 people what role the town would play in the operation and how the floating technology would work.

Broome Airport will be used as the helicopter base for Shell contracted flights to and from the oil and gas fields, along with Inpex for its Ichthys project.

Mr Bird said the FLNG facility was expected to arrive in the Browse in July or August this year.

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He said the complex hook-up and commissioning phase was expected to take nine to 12 months and that the company expected project cash flow from the project during 2018.

Prelude will extract, liquefy and store gas at sea before being exported to customers around the world.

Broome-based helicopters were scheduled to fly to and from Prelude from Monday to Saturday.

Mr Bird outlined how important the town was to the operation with an expected four helicopters making return trips to the Browse on weekdays, with potentially two outbound and two inbound flights on Saturdays.

The distance to Prelude would also require outbound refuelling stops at the remote Djarindjin airport on the Dampier Peninsula, north of Broome.

The Prelude facility – constructed and partly commissioned in South Korea - was expected to produce about 3.6 million tonnes per year of LNG.

Mr Bird said there were about 350 direct jobs associated with the project and that it would be hypothetical to state how many would directly come from Broome.

But he said Shell was committed to direct and indirect hiring of people from the town.

Mr Bird said Shell expected 120 to 140 people on the Prelude facility at any one time.

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