Making FLNG a reality is no simple feat, we've had to innovate hard and invest heavily, shrinking an onshore LNG plant to about a quarter of the size. However, we are uniquely positioned to make it a success given our commercial capability; our LNG, offshore, deepwater and marine technology; and our proven ability to successfully deliver megaprojects. Many of the technologies used on the FLNG facility are ones we have used onshore, but some have been extended or modified in order for the processes such as liquefaction and offloading to occur at sea.
Size matters when it comes to stability
With increased size comes increased stability. Measuring nearly half a kilometre in length, 74 metres wide and weighing more than 600,000 tonnes with its cargo tanks full, Prelude will be the largest offshore floating facility ever built. Around 260,000 tonnes of steel are being used in the construction of the facility, that’s around five times the amount of steel used to build the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Precision is paramount
Around 5,000 people are involved in the construction of the Prelude FLNG facility in South Korea, plus 1,000 on the Turret Mooring System, subsea and wells equipment. Watching the team at the Samsung shipyard in Geoje, South Korea as they measure accuracy to the millimeter shows how, despite the colossal size of Prelude, precision is paramount and the team’s expertise and dedication are crucial to the success of the project.
Following the two massive halves of the hull being joined together, Willie Gray, his international team and their families wave Prelude out of the drydock. It’s not surprising that, following 18 million hours of design and development, including more than 2 years of construction so far, Didrik Reymert, Project Director, can’t hide his awe and pride when he looks at Prelude. “It’s amazing. It’s very big, it’s very impressive and it’s a fantastic achievement by everybody.”
The construction of the processing plant is now underway. Once the project is completed and moored 200km off the coast of Western Australia, a whole new phase of the project will begin; working towards a point when 3.6 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas will be processed each year, along with 1.3 mtpa of condensate and 0.4 mtpa of LPG.
Prelude takes shape
With the last of the topside modules now safely installed, the full scale of Shell’s Prelude FLNG project is taking shape. Our camera crews ventured high into the sky and deep inside the hull to capture an exclusive glimpse of Prelude - the largest floating facility ever built. View the latest Prelude video here.