Engineering, procurement, and construction


    Oil, Gas & Chemicals

More energy, cleaner fuel for Australia and its LNG export markets

In quick succession, Queensland Curtis LNG (a joint venture of QGC – now a Shell-owned business, China National Offshore Oil Corporation and Tokyo Gas), Australia Pacific LNG (a joint venture of ConocoPhillips, Origin and Sinopec), and Santos GLNG (a joint venture of Santos, Petronas, Total, and Kogas) each hired Bechtel to design and build a liquefied natural gas complex on Curtis Island, off the shore of Queensland, just north of the city of Gladstone. 

These three simultaneous construction programs are part of the largest concentration of private-capital investment in Australia’s history. 

Annual world demand for LNG stands at about a quarter billion metric tons. Forecasts point to an increase of 60 percent or more by 2020 and a doubling of consumption by 2030—much of it in Asia. The three plants will produce LNG for use by Australians and for customers in China, Korea, Japan, and Malaysia.  Together, the plants will account for roughly 8 percent of global LNG production.

To concurrently deliver six LNG trains for three customers on a single island is an unprecedented achievement. The skills and hard work of our people and their collaboration with our customers and the Gladstone community enabled us to successfully deliver the first LNG for export from the state of Queensland.

 Darren Mort, General Manager, LNG business line

  • At its peak, the project employed 14,500 people just on Curtis Island
  • Workers erecting cryogenic modules’ frames
  • Craft workers in the Indonesian module yard
  • Dredging works being carried out in Gladstone Harbor at sunset
  • One of the project’s two LNG storage tanks
  • Workers at one of the more than 260 modules built for the project
  • A member of the project’s Human Resources team
  • Inside one of the storage tanks, which has a capacity equal to 56 Olympic-size swimming pools
  • An aerial view of the project’s construction progress
  • One of the thousands of team members who made project completion possible
  • Workers put the finishing touches on the project
  • Ships being loaded with LNG at all three of the project’s plants
  • The three simultaneous programs were part of the largest concentration of private-capital investment in Australia’s history

Megaproject delivery by the numbers

  • 3 projects, 3 customers, 1 contractor
  • 14,500 people employed at peak
  • Concrete equivalent to seven Empire State Buildings
  • Structural steel equivalent to 13 Eiffel Towers
  • Electrical cable equivalent to 11 times the length of the Grand Canyon
  • Three module yards in Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines fabricating 260 modules, many of which weighed up to 5,000 tons

Local Impact

  • More than $1.5 billion in local wages to long-term Gladstone residents
  • 436 apprentices trained and hired, including 200 local residents out
  • 500+ Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people employed
  • Comprehensive community engagement program, including support to local science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education and marine safety
  • 40+ subcontracts totaling $350 million awarded to local businesses

Innovative modularization

Because of overlapping schedules, close proximity, and good cooperation, each project and all three customers have benefited from economies of scale and efficiency orchestrated by Bechtel.

For the sake of quality, speed, and cost control, Bechtel engineers in Houston, New Delhi, and Shanghai geared their designs for the three Curtis Island plants to modular construction. At Bechtel facilities in the Philippines, Indonesia, and Thailand, colleagues have been building more than 260 modules—-many of which weighed more than 5,000 tons.