Pluto is on schedule to be the fastest LNG project in the world from discovery to first gas, said Woodside Chief Executive Don Voelte.
The Pluto project's initial phase will include a single LNG production Train with output of 4.8 million tonnes per annum at 100 percent capacity and connected by a 180-kilometres, 36-inch offshore pipeline to a platform in 85 metres of water, Woodside said.
The platform will be connected to five subsea big bore wells on the Pluto field, with first gas to be produced in late 2010.
Feasibility work has already begun for an expansion of Pluto, with the addition of a second production Train, Woodside said.
Woodside owns 90 percent of the first phase of the Pluto project, with Japanese foundation customers Tokyo Gas Co. and Kansai Electric Co. each holding 5 percent.
The Japanese utilities in August signed 15-year contracts to buy a combined volume of up to 3.75 MTPA of Pluto LNG, with supplies to start in late 2010.
The pace of the project would not have been possible without the professionalism of the Commonwealth and Western Australian governments, both of whom continue to respond to schedule requirements without compromising their rigorous approvals and regulatory processes, Voelte said at the ceremony.
Site preparation for Pluto LNG has been underway since January 2007, after Woodside received environmental and heritage approval to begin work on the projects storage tanks and export facility.
Preparation works for the gas processing plant, where the production Train will be located, began in October, Woodside said.
Woodside, whose North West Shelf Train 5 is scheduled to start production in 2008, has two other LNG projects to develop, Browse LNG and Sunrise LNG.