American energy company Chevron has temporarily suspended operations at its $54bn Gorgon liquefied natural gas (LNG) project after starting production just two weeks ago.
Chevron halted production at the first facility of the project due to mechanical issues with the propane refrigerant circuit.
Chevron has already shipped its first cargo to Chubu Electric Power of Japan from the facility, located on Barrow Island off the northwest coast of Western Australia.
The company is already carrying out the repair work necessary to restart operations. However, it is expected to resume its operations within the next 30-60 days.
The output at the first facility is still estimated to take another six to eight months to reach full capacity. Last month, the company had started production from the project after facing delays and rise in construction cost.
Suspension of operations is another challenge for the Chevron and its partners, including Royal Dutch Shell and Exxon Mobil, in the project, as they face price slump in the energy sector.
The supply for its Gorgon project comes from the Gorgon and Jansz-Io gas fields, located within the Greater Gorgon area, between 130 km and 220 km off the northwest coast of Western Australia.
It also includes a 15.6 MTPA LNG plant on Barrow Island, a carbon dioxide injection project and a domestic gas plant with the capacity to supply 300 terajoules of gas per day to Western Australia.
The Gorgon project is a joint venture between Chevron and its Australian subsidiaries. Chevron is the operator of the project, owing a stake of 47.3%. ExxonMobil and Shell hold a stake of 25% each, while Osaka Gas, Tokyo Gas and Chubu Electric Power have minor share in the project.