Freeport LNG Clears FERC Hurdle
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) reported Thursday that it has approved the construction of the Train 4 expansion at the Freeport LNG export facility, located on Quintana Island near Freeport, Texas.
As Rigzone reported earlier this week, the fourth train would boast 5 million tons per annum (mtpa) of liquefaction capacity and boost the LNG terminal’s export capacity to 20 mtpa. Freeport LNG has already named KBR, Inc. its preferred bidder for the Train 4 engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning contract.
According to FERC, Thursday’s action represents the fourth LNG export project the commission has approved this year. In February, FERC authorized Venture Global LNG’s Calcasieu Pass project in Cameron Parish, La. Last month, it approved the Driftwood and Port Arthur projects in Louisiana and Texas, respectively.
“I’m proud of the efforts by the commission and its staff to process today’s and our previous LNG orders,” FERC Chairman Neil Chatterjee said in a written statement. “Exporting LNG from the United States can help increase the availability of inexpensive, clean-burning fuel to our global allies who are looking for an efficient, affordable and environmentally friendly source of generation.”
Following the FERC decision, Freeport LNG stated Thursday that it still needs to secure approval from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to export Train 4 LNG volumes to non-Free Trade Agreement countries. The company added that it anticipates clearing that regulatory step later this quarter.
“This is an important milestone in the continued growth of Freeport LNG,” Michael Smith, Freeport LNG founder, chairman and CEO, said in a written statement Thursday. “Having FERC’s approval in hand brings us one significant step closer to our goal of moving ahead with Train 4 construction later this year.”
Freeport LNG stated that it expects commercial startup of Train 1 to occur during the third quarter this year, with operations from the two subsequent trains by mid-2020. Train 4 is slated to begin operations in 2023, the company added.
Customers that have signed 20-year tolling agreements for LNG from the Freeport facility include Osaka Gas Trading & Export, LLC, JERA Energy America, LLC, BP Energy Co., Toshiba America LNG Corp. and SK E&S LNG, LLC. In addition, Trafigura PTE Ltd. has signed a three-year sale and purchase agreement with Freeport LNG.
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