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Light Structures wins critical LNG contract

LNG Industry,

Light Structures, the global provider of fibre optic monitoring and analysis systems, has been awarded the contract to provide the important Load & Fatigue Monitoring Solution for the US$ 2.7 billion Ichthys liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility, currently under construction by Samsung Heavy Industries.

The company’s solution will help the Ichthys operating partners monitor and maintain the structural integrity of the LNG facility.

Light Structures managing director, Inge Paulsen, said: “This is a landmark business win for Light Structures. This Ichthys CPF is the biggest project of its kind anywhere in the world, so the fact that we are now a key supplier is a tangible endorsement of the quality, performance and reliability of our solution.”

The Load & Fatigue Monitoring system will use sensors, connected by zero-power fibre optic cables, to continually collect data relating to the loads working on the structure of the CPF. Based on this data, analyses and calculations will be undertaken to monitor fatigue development across crucial structural areas.

Quality and safety requirements

“The importance of this project, which is set to produce an initial capacity of 8.4 million t of LNG and 1.6 million tons of LPG off the Australian coast per annum, has led to understandably stringent quality and safety requirements,” Paulsen added. “Our system is one of less than a handful capable of meeting these requirements and, given our track record on LNG FPSOs […] alongside our excellent relationships with many Korean yards, we emerged as the clear monitoring partner of choice.”

The system, which is an evolution of traditional hull stress monitoring technology, will monitor fatigue build-up to provide a valuable overview of structural integrity and allow the project’s operators to take decisive repair and maintenance action before cracks appear.

“There are real structural challenges for advanced, complex offshore structures operating in harsh natural environments, and a reliable structural monitoring system will enable better maintenance planning and safe operation,” explained Paulsen. “And without an effective monitoring system it is impossible to inspect for fatigue before cracking gets serious.

“It is my belief that it won’t be long before effective solutions like ours become absolutely obligatory for semi-submersibles and other units in the oil and gas industry. Speaking to naval architects in charge of these projects, they agree. So, with the ease of retrofitting a fibre optic system and obvious safety benefits inherent in protecting these assets, I think this sector will be a key growth area for our business going forwards.”

The facility, which is scheduled to commence operation in 2016, will work alongside a FPSO at the Browse Basin Field, 440 km north of Broome in Western Australia. It will carry out initial processing of gas to extract condensate and water, before its transfer through a pipeline for further processing.

Adapted from press release by Katie Woodward

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