Freeport LNG pushes back restart to November

Freeport LNG has 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 entered into a consent agreement with the Pipeline Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) to resume operations at its LNG plant in early October.

However, the LNG terminal operator said in a update on Tuesday that it has identified a recovery plan for reinstatement of partial operations that it believes “ensures the long-term safety and integrity of the facility, provides recovery execution certainty, and minimizes procurement and performance testing risks.”

“Although typical construction risks could impact the recovery plan, it is anticipated that initial production can commence 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 said.

The recovery plan will utilize Freeport LNG’s second LNG loading dock as a lay berth until Freeport LNG reinstates loading capabilities at the second dock in March next year.

The LNG terminal operator expects the facility to operate at 100 percent of its capacity in March next year.

Kiewit wins contract

Freeport LNG said it has engaged Kiewit Energy Group to perform the engineering, procurement, and reconstruction activities necessary to implement its recovery effort.

Kiewit has “significant” LNG facility experience including both greenfield and brownfield developments and large and small/mid- scale LNG projects, it said.

The LNG terminal operator added that it continues to coordinate closely with representatives of PHMSA, FERC, the US Coast Guard, and other applicable regulatory agencies to implement its recovery plan and corrective measures to ensure a “safe and confident resumption of operations”.

This shutdown affected supplies and prices in Europe as most of the LNG produced at the Freeport plant landed in Europe this year.

Freeport LNG, led by billionaire Michael Smith, launched commercial operations in May 2020 for the third train at its Quintana Island facility.

This event also marked the full commercial operation of Freeport LNG’s $13.5 billion, three-train facility.

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.

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