The Australia Pacific LNG (APLNG) project shipped its first cargo, co-owner Origin Energy Ltd said on Monday, following a delay of at least two weeks, with another cargo waiting to be loaded.
The Methane Spirit, the ship carrying the trial cargo, left Curtis Island off Gladstone in Queensland on Saturday, a milestone for the A$25 billion ($17 billion) project, the third coal seam gas-to-LNG plant to open on the island over the past year.
The 9 million tonnes-a-year plant is operated by ConocoPhillips, co-owner of the project with Origin, which supplies gas to the plant, and China’s Sinopec Corp .
“These are incredibly large, complex projects and exporting the first cargo is a tremendous achievement,” Origin Managing Director Grant King said in a statement.
The delay in loading the first ship has led to hefty costs for China’s Sinopec Corp, which has had a ship, the BW Pavilion Vanda, waiting off Gladstone since Dec. 18 to carry the plant’s first commercial cargo.
Most of APLNG’s output is locked into long-term take-or-pay contracts to Sinopec and Japan’s Kansai Electric Power Co.
(Reporting by Sonali Paul; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)