PETRONAS has started the lifting of the first topside module for its floating liquefied natural gas (PFLNG1) facility at the Quayside of Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) shipyard in Okpo, South Korea.

The topside module lifting marks another major construction milestone for the facility, as it signifies the near completion of the PFLNG1, which the company predicts will be the world’s first floating LNG facility in operation.

The first topside module, on which power generation and control functions instruments are to be installed, weighs about 2,000 tonnes, with a 3,600 tonne marine crane used by DSME to conduct the lifting operation.

In a statement, Petronas said a remaining 20 modules weighing about 40,000 tonnes are still to be installed on the hull – with the topside module lifting campaign to be completed in the first quarter of 2015.

Petronas vice president and venture director of LNG projects – domestic, Abdullah Karim, said this module lifting had taken place 13 months after the start of topsides construction.

“The topside is the heart of this floating LNG facility where pre-treatment and liquefaction process for the gas will be carried out,” he said.

“Therefore, the safe and successful installation of the topside is critical to the delivery of the project.”

Petronas has appointed Technip and DSME as a consortium to jointly develop the PFLNG1 facility, which is 365 metres long, 60 metres wide and 33 metres high and boasts a LNG capacity of 1.2 million tonnes per year.

Once the construction and installation phases complete in 2015, PFLNG1 will be moored in Kanowit field located 180 kilometres offshore Sarawak, Malaysia, Petronas said.