THE FIRST of the first of seven gas turbine power generators that will provide electrical power to the Australia Pacific LNG (APLNG) facility on Curtis Island started operations in April.

While the majority of the natural gas arriving at the LNG facility will be processed and exported as liquefied natural gas, a small amount will be used to power the gas turbine generators to generate the electrical power required to operate the two LNG processing trains.

APLNG chief executive Page Maxson said the successful start-up of the first turbine was another achievement for the business, following on from the completion of the pipeline and first gas arriving at the LNG facility in February.

“The complexity and scale of this accomplishment is significant and required the completion of key safety and operating systems,” Mr Maxson said.

“Over the coming months, we will progressively test and start additional critical elements of the processing trains to bring the LNG facility on line and ready for first LNG export.”

Each of the seven gas turbine generators, constructed by Bechtel, will produce a peak output of about 15 megawatts (MW) and combined will deliver 105 MW.

Bechtel Gladstone general manager Kevin Berg said bringing gas onto the site was important from a progress perspective.

“The Bechtel team on site is progressively completing the commissioning work on the remaining components of the first train and in parallel, constructing and commissioning the second train so we can deliver the plant to the permanent operations team to move into full LNG production,” he said.

In the March quarter production report released by project operator Origin Energy, Origin chief executive of integrated gas David Baldwin said the project was reporting strong progress.

“At the end of the March quarter the upstream project was 93 per cent complete and the downstream project was 89% complete,” he said.

“A total of 1,069 development wells have been drilled and seven gas processing trains commissioned,” he added.

The company’s production rate was 14% higher than in the previous corresponding quarter, driven by APLNG production.