A set of five power “modules,” all of which were built abroad, will be responsible for the provision of electricity to Chevron’s Gorgon LNG Project off the coast of Western Australia.
The final two of five power modules which are eventually destined to provide power to Chevron’s Gorgon LNG Project recently set sail from Avenza on the northwestern coast of Italy, which served as the site of their initial assembly.
While the use of the term “module” and the the fact that they are being conveyed across vast distances by sea to reach their intended destination would imply modest size or compact build, the gas power plants themselves are formidable in size.
Each of the modules is 50 metres in height, 25 metres in length and 21 metres in width – making them about as tall as a 15-storey building, with the hypothetical floor area of a capacious, inner-city apartment. The weight of each module is around 2,300 tonnes, a mass roughly the equivalent of four Airbus A380s.
The sizeable power facilities first had to be transported through the winding streets of Avenza from the assembly yard to the port of Marina di Carrara by means of trucks which were purpose-designed to bear their immense weight.
Upon reaching the Marina di Carrara Port, the power modules then set off upon an epic ocean odyssey, covering a total of over 7,000 kilometres over the span of more than a month. By March, this journey should bring them to Western Australia’s Barrow Island – the site of Gorgon’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) production facilities, where they will join three other modules which were assembled in Avenza by GE Oil & Gas.
The set of five modules will eventually be responsible for providing electricity to the project’s development and production as well as the operation of the LNG plant on Barrow Island, situated just 60 kilometres off the coast of Western Australia.
With a capacity of 130 megawatts, each of the modules is an impressive miniature power plant in its own right, capable of generating enough electricity to meet the energy needs of 40,000 households.
Chevron’s Gorgon project will be Australia’s fourth LNG export development upon completion, producing gas for sale to customers in China, India, Japan and South Korea, with a proportion also reserved for delivery to the domestic market.
The Greater Gorgon gas fields contain around 1.04 trillion cubic metres of discovered resource, which is enough to provide energy to a city of one million people for 140 years.