NFE expects to launch Altamira FLNG project by early November

US LNG firm New Fortress Energy is now expecting to launch its first FLNG project off Altamira in late October or early November.

Wes Edens-led NFE sent its liquefaction rig, Pioneer II, on September 26 to Mexico’s Altamira to start serving the company’s first FLNG project.

The jackup rig set sail under tow from the Kiewit Offshore Services shipyard in Ingleside, near Corpus Christi, Texas, and was expected to arrive off Altamira during the weekend.

“This rig will soon join the other two FLNG 1 rigs in Altamira for final installation and commissioning, with target COD in late October or early November,” NFE said in a statement issued on Friday.

NFE did not provide any additional information.

Prior to this, NFE’s utilities and accommodation rig, Pioneer III, arrived off Altamira last month.

The $1.3 billion FLNG project consists of three rigs, including the liquefaction platform and also the gas treatment platform, and they are named Pioneer I, II, and III.

Altamira LNG plans

Chris Guinta, NFE’s finance chief said during the company’s second-quarter earnings call last month that the company had expected to introduce first gas in September and sell the first LNG cargo in October.

Guinta said at the time that NFE had planned to install Pioneer I around August 23 and Pioneer II around August 28.

He also said that the 160,000-cbm Penguin FSU, which will serve the project as a floating storage unit, was on its way to Altamira.

Penguin’s AIS data showed early on Monday that the vessel was anchored at Jamaica’s Portland Bight, not far from the 170,000-cbm Hoegh Gallant FSRU which serves NFE’s offshore Old Harbour facility.

In early June, the US LNG firm received an export permit for its Altamira Fast LNG facility from Mexico’s Ministry of Energy (SENER).

Under the permit, NFE is authorized to export up to 7.8 million metric tons through April, 2028, providing ample capacity to support the operations of the 1.4 million tons per annum Fast LNG facility through the permitted period, it said.

Last year, NFE signed separate deals with CFE and Pemex aimed at installing LNG production units off Mexico.

Under the deal with CFE, the firm agreed to create a new FLNG hub off the coast of Altamira, Tamaulipas.

Earlier this year, NFE also signed a letter of intent with CFE to install units 2 and 3 onshore at the existing Altamira terminal.

The LNG import terminal built in 2006 is currently underutilized and transforming it into an export facility follows the legacy of Sabine Pass nearly 10 years ago, the firm said.

Puerto Rico power plant

NFE also announced on Friday that it has placed into service its second US government sponsored power plant in Puerto Rico on Wednesday, September 27th.

This facility in San Juan has a capacity of 200+ MW of power generation and operates under a 2-year contract, similar to the 150 MW facility in Palo Seco that entered service in June under the same program.

Both power installations operate under multi-year contracts with the US government, which pays for fuel, logistics, and all power infrastructure, it said.

“NFE is at an inflection point as our core infrastructure projects enter service. COD of San Juan power marks a key milestone,” Edens said in the statement.

“The combination of the San Juan plant and the Palo Seco plant contribute significantly to downstream volumes and terminal earnings beginning in size in the fourth quarter of 2023,” he said.

“Our projects are entering service after years of buildout, and we now look forward to cash generation, deleveraging, and organic growth opportunities,” Edens added.

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