Ichthys Project - Production Support PSVs

Our Experience


  • Project Name
    INPEX Ichthys Project - Production Support PSVs
  • Client
  • Vessels Deployed
    MMA Plover and MMA Brewster

Scope of Work

In June 2014, MMA was contracted by INPEX to build, supply and operate two bespoke PSVs for the Ichthys Project located in Australia. Located about 220 kilometres offshore Western Australia, the Ichthys Project is the largest discovery of hydrocarbon liquids in Australia in 40 years.

The Ichthys LNG Project is a Joint Venture between INPEX group companies (the Operator), major partner Total, CPC Corporation Taiwan and the Australian subsidiaries of Tokyo Gas, Osaka Gas, Kansai Electric Power, JERA and Toho Gas.

INPEX required two PSVs to provide drilling, commissioning and operational production support for the duration of the project’s lifecycle. To support the project the PSVs needed to have significant chemical carrying capacity.

In conjunction with Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), International Marine Organization (IMO) and DNV GL (Classification Society) MMA undertook a detailed design process to create a PSV design unlike any other in the global offshore market.

The result of this work was the MMA Brewster and MMA Plover; two bespoke VARD design PSVs. The PSVs are the first two ships in Australia and two of three in the world constructed as per the International Bulk Chemical (IBC) Code Chapter 2. This allows an offshore oil and gas vessel to carry chemicals in bulk without meeting full chemical tanker criteria provided that all relevant operational provisions of the Guidelines/Code and MARPOL Annex II are observed. MARPOL is the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships. Essentially the PSVs are approved to carry dangerous and noxious liquid chemicals in bulk.

The PSVs have dual SF/IBC load lines which allows them to operate under different load lines dependent on how much liquid chemical cargo is being carried in bulk. The vessel will operate under SF load line when carrying <800m3 and IBC load line when carrying > 800m3 of chemical cargo. This provides maximum flexibility to INPEX when carrying various cargo quantities to offshore facilities.

The Plover and Brewster are the only PSVs in the world that are fully approved to carry H2S Scavenger in bulk. Instead of lifting bulk containers between shore to ship and ship to offshore facilities, H2S Scavenger can be pumped on to the vessel and then on to the facility.

It is estimated that a ~ 10,500 high risk, heavy lifts (4.1 tonne) of H2S Scavenger in bulk containers from the PSV to the Ichthys facilities will be avoided over the life of the project as result, reducing risk to personnel and environment.

To increase the safety of crew onboard the PSVs during operation, MMA worked with DNV-GL to install liquid-gas scrubbers in the HCl tank vent lines. This near on eliminates HCl vapours venting from the tanks during operation and decreases the chance of crew coming into contact with HCl vapour.

The vessels were also designed and classified as safety standby vessels – a first in Australian offshore production vessels. This allows dedicated space on board for the treatment of survivors, a two person hospital facility and extra accommodation to accommodate persons if required.

By building the MMA Plover and MMA Brewster to meet the client’s needs, the overall standard of safety associated with logistics and carrying the required chemicals in bulk has dramatically increased with the added secondary benefit of reducing chemical bunkering times.

The PSVs demonstrate how MMA’s specialisation is differentiator from other vessel operators in the industry. It also demonstrates how INPEX recognised MMA’s engineering expertise to design and deliver unrivalled PSV capacities and capabilities into the offshore vessel market and oil and gas industry.