Inpex halts construction at Australian LNG site after worker dies

MELBOURNE, Nov 30 (Reuters) - Japan’s Inpex Corp halted construction work on Thursday at an onshore site in Australia for the huge Ichthys liquefied natural gas (LNG) project after a worker died in an accident there, a spokeswoman said.

“INPEX Operations Australia Pty Ltd sincerely regrets to confirm a serious incident occurred at its Bladin Point construction site in Darwin at approximately 8 pm last night, that resulted in the death of a worker,” the company said in a statement.

It said it was “co-operating fully with relevant authorities”, but declined to comment further on what led to the worker’s death or when construction might resume at the Bladin Point site.

The Ichthys project, led by Inpex, is both Japan’s biggest overseas investment and first LNG megaproject. It is more than a year behind its original target, with first production now expected by March 2018.

Costs have ballooned more than 10 percent to around $37 billion since the project was approved in 2012.

The development is co-owned by Inpex, France’s Total SA , Taiwan’s CPC Corp, and Japanese gas and power companies.

Reporting by Sonali Paul