Australian LNG player Woodside is nearing the launch of a new pipeline that will transport gas from its Pluto LNG terminal to the North West Shelf project’s Karratha Gas Plant (KGP).
Woodside took a final investment decision on the Pluto-KGP Interconnector in November 2019 and also awarded a construction contract to DDG Operations, part of the Australian Gas Infrastructure Group (AGIG).
Construction on the 30-inch pipeline started in January this year. The pipeline connects the inlet facilities next to the Pluto LNG plant via the metering facilities at Dampier to the outlet facilities within the KGP.
AGIG said in a statement on Wednesday it had completed the works on the project, adding that the pipeline is ready for operations.
The firm said it has completed pre-flow commissioning checks and final inspections on November 5.
According to AGIG, the interconnector is just over 3km long and would initially transport about 250 TJ/day potentially rising to over 900 TJ/day during its operations.
Also, AGIG said it would fill the pipeline with nitrogen to preserve it in preparation for Woodside’s start of gas flows from the Pluto LNG plant.
It expects commissioning and operations to start in early 2022.
NWS partners to send Pluto gas to Karratha LNG plant
The Pluto-KGP Interconnector, built along the existing Dampier to Bunbury natural gas pipeline, will help optimize production at both Pluto and the NWS facilities.
Woodside and its NWS LNG venture partners signed two agreements in December last year to process gas through the project’s facilities.
Australia’s oldest LNG plant at Karratha, part of the Woodside-led North West Shelf project, has been liquefying gas from fields located off the north-west coast of Australia for more than 30 years.
However, these fields are slowly running out of gas and the project is now shifting its focus towards a different business model aimed at processing gas from third parties.
Under the deal with Woodside Burrup, operator of the Pluto LNG terminal, the Karratha plant will process about 3 million tonnes of LNG and 24.7 petajoules of domestic gas in the period 2022-2025 from the offshore Pluto field.
This gas would reach the Karratha plant through the Pluto-KGP Interconnector.
The Karratha gas plant has five LNG trains with a capacity of 16.9 million tonnes per year. It also features domestic gas trains, condensate stabilization units and LPG units.
Besides operator Woodside, other partners in the NWS project include Chevron, BP, Shell, BHP, and Japan Australia LNG.