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Betchel wins Queensland Curtis LNG contract as project enters FEED


The Queensland Curtis LNG Project has secured Bechtel Oil, Gas and Chemicals, Inc. as the project contractor for its proposed LNG plant near Gladstone in Australia.

The project, an alliance between Queensland Gas Company Limited, of Australia, and BG Group plc, of the United Kingdom, will develop coal seam gas from the Surat Basin in Queensland for Australian and international markets.

Bechtel, one of the world’s leading LNG contractors, was recently named the top United States contractor for the tenth consecutive year by Engineering News Record, a leading US trade publication for the construction industry.

The company has built about one-third of all LNG production capacity worldwide.

Under the agreement with Bechtel, front end engineering design (FEED) of the plant will begin immediately. A seamless transition into procurement and construction will follow a final investment decision (FID) on the project, scheduled for early 2010.

The plant is being designed with one production train initially to supply 3 to 4 million tonnes of LNG a year for export markets, with potential expansion, via additional trains, to up to 12 million tonnes a year subject to additional gas reserves.

BG Group’s Executive Vice President of the Americas and Global LNG, Martin Houston, and QGC’s Managing Director, Richard Cottee, welcomed Bechtel’s involvement.

“BG Group and Bechtel have had a long association and have constructed a total of six LNG trains in which BG has an interest in Egypt and Trinidad and Tobago,” Mr Houston said.

“In addition to this, Bechtel has constructed LNG export facilities in Algeria, Indonesia, the United Arab Emirates, Equatorial Guinea and Libya.

“Bechtel also constructed the Darwin LNG plant, giving it a tremendous local experience base from which to embark on this project and we are delighted to award it a committed role in our Queensland LNG project.”

Mr Cottee said: “The confirmation today is another important milestone in the steady progress of the Queensland Curtis LNG Project.

“With its substantial experience in global LNG plant construction, Bechtel is a natural choice for our project.’’

As part of the engineering work, Bechtel will refine its development of the ConocoPhillips Optimized Cascade Process, which the parties agree is best suited to a plant supplied by coal seam gas. Using this technology, gas is cooled and ultimately liquefied through three cycles of refrigeration.

“The cascade process will provide greater flexibility for this project, which is on schedule to be the first LNG plant in the world using coal seam gas,” Mr Cottee said.

The cascade process has a long history of successful operation. It was first used in Alaska at the Kenai LNG plant built by Bechtel in 1969.

The Queensland Curtis LNG Project is being developed to provide an export channel to the LNG market.

QGC has pursued an aggressive drilling campaign for several years and its development program was reflected in a recent reserves upgrade. The project was also recently granted significant project status by the Queensland Government.


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