Chevron Delays Restart of Gorgon LNG Train for Additional Repairs

MELBOURNE (Reuters) — Chevron Corp said on Thursday it would delay till October the restart of the Train 2 unit at its Gorgon liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant in Western Australia, as more time was needed to repair welds on its propane heat exchangers. 

First LNG production at Gorgon Photo: Chevron

Train 2 at Australia's second-largest LNG plant has been shut since May for maintenance, which was extended after cracks were found in the production unit's propane kettles. The company had hoped to complete the repairs by early September.

"Chevron expects the repairs to the heat exchangers, where weld quality issues were discovered during scheduled maintenance in July 2020, to be complete and to restart production at Train 2 next month," the company said in a statement on Thursday.

The company said it would continue to meet its contractual obligations to provide gas to the Western Australian domestic market and LNG through the prolonged shutdown.

Cracks up to 1 meter long and 30 millimeters deep were found on between eight and 11 kettles on Train 2, the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union said in July, calling for an immediate shutdown of the whole plant for safety inspections.

Western Australia's industrial regulator agreed last month to allow Chevron to shut the remaining two Gorgon trains for inspection and repairs in stages -- with Train 1 to be shut in October and Train 3 in January.

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