The facilities must be chilled before production can begin, typically by using fuel from other sites, indicating the plant is getting closer to starting output.
According to Reuters, the LNG tanker Pacific Breeze is currently in the Java Sea and expected to reach Darwin on April 26, with a draft of 93 per cent, suggesting it is almost full.
A spokesman for Inpex said the vessel had been chartered to transport LNG bought from another LNG project with the objective of cooling the onshore Ichthys LNG plant ahead of the project’s start-up.
He added the vessel’s LNG could also possibly be used as a first export cargo should Ichthys experience further delays in production, but stressed this had not yet been decided.
INPEX said in March it had postponed its latest planned start-up to April or May.
The start was originally slated for 2016.
The Ichthys LNG Project comprises an onshore LNG processing plant, offshore processing facilities, condensate storage, a 500 MW combined-cycle power plant and an 889 km, 1,050 mm diameter offshore pipeline.
The project will develop gas from the Ichthys gas field, located in permit WA-285-P in the Browse Basin, approximately 200 km offshore northwest Australia.
Joint venture interests in the project are INPEX (63.445 per cent), TOTAL (30 per cent), CPC (2.625 per cent), Tokyo Gas (1.575 per cent), Osaka Gas (1.2 per cent), Chubu Electric (0.735 per cent) and Toho Gas (0.420 per cent).