KT Maritime Services Australia has secured a major shipbuilding contract from Shell Australia, including design, construction and operation of three infield support vessels (ISVs).

Shell Australia will deploy the three 42m-long, 100t bollard-pull ISVs at its prelude floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) project, which is located 475km north-north-east of Broome, Western Australia.

“This contract is an example of the long-term benefits of prelude FLNG.”

The ISVs will operate out of the Port of Broome on a rotation basis for around 25 years, to meet the FLNG project’s requirements, including tanker berthing and offshore operation support, such as emergency response.

Shell Australia country chair Andrew Smith said this is a significant contract for the on-going operation of prelude FLNG, and that the priorities for awarding the contract were finding a partner that could deliver the vessels and services safely, and also secure good local employment and training outcomes.

“This contract is an example of the long-term benefits of prelude FLNG. During the operations and maintenance phase we expect to spend at least $200 million per year on local content, this is a very positive level of investment into the Australian economy,” Smith said.

KT Maritime Services Australia is a joint venture company between KOTUG International and Teekay Shipping Australia.

KT Maritime director David Parmeter said that the joint partnership combines the technical innovation and expertise of KOTUG, with Teekay’s experience as a marine operator in Australia.

“To be part of Shell’s first deployment of floating LNG technology is an important milestone for our business, and we look forward to supporting the prelude FLNG development throughout its operations,” Parmeter said.

The contract is expected to create around 80 new jobs in Australia.

Prelude FLNG will involve the production, liquefaction, storage and transfer of 3.6 million tonnes per annum of LNG at sea and also process and export liquefied petroleum gas and condensate.