Freeport LNG pushes back restart to mid-December

Freeport LNG has again delayed the restart of its 15 mtpa LNG export plant in Texas following an incident at the facility that took place on June 8.

In August, Freeport LNG delayed the restart of the facility on Quintana Island from October to November.

The LNG terminal operator said at the time that initial production would start in “early to mid-November, and ramp up to a sustained level of at least 2 Bcf per day by the end of November, representing over 85 percent of the export capacity of the facility”.

Freeport LNG recently said it was still working on obtaining the necessary regulatory approvals required for the restart and provided the results of an independent, third-party root cause failure analysis on the incident.

In an update released late on Friday, Freeport LNG said that subject to the firm meeting its regulatory requirements, it is targeting initial production at the facility in mid-December.

“Each of Freeport LNG’s three liquefaction trains will be restarted and ramped up safely, in a slow and deliberate manner, with each train starting separately before restarting a subsequent train,” it said.

Freeport LNG expects that it would achieve about 2 Bcf per day of production in January 2023 while full production utilizing both docks remains anticipated to start in March 2023.

90 percent of work complete

As of November 14th, the reconstruction work necessary to start initial operations, including utilization of all three liquefaction trains, two LNG storage tanks and one dock, was approximately 90 percent complete, according to Freeport LNG.

The LNG terminal operator expects to complete all reconstruction work by the end of November.

Freeport LNG submitted proposed remedial work activities for a safe restart of initial operations to the relevant regulatory agencies for review and approval.

“Our teams have worked diligently over the last several months alongside regulators to ensure the safe restart of our facility. I am immensely grateful for their efforts,” Michael Smith, founder, chairman and CEO of Freeport LNG, said.

BP, Jera, Osaka Gas, SK E&S, and TotalEnergies have long-term contracts with Freeport LNG.

Freeport LNG is also planning to add another production unit with a capacity of 5 mtpa, but it has not yet taken a final investment decision.

US energy regulators recently granted Freeport LNG’s request for a 26-month extension of time to build the fourth liquefaction train.

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