NFE nears launch of its first floating LNG producer off Altamira

New Fortress Energy’s first floating LNG production unit is almost ready to start work off Mexico’s Altamira.

The US LNG firm said in a statement it has received an export permit for its Altamira Fast LNG facility from Mexico’s Ministry of Energy (SENER).

Under the permit, NFE is now 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 (MTPA) “Fast LNG” facility through the permitted period, according to the statement.

NFE has previously received authorization from the US Department of Energy to export US-sourced LNG to Mexico and other FTA countries.

“Final piece to the puzzle”

NFE said that construction for the first 1.4 mtpa “Fast LNG” unit is over ninety percent complete and deployment to Altamira is expected to begin this month.

With operations slated to begin in the third quarter of 2023, NFE is on track to establish its new LNG hub, the firm noted.

NFE’s chairman and CEO, Wes Edens, said “this permit is the final piece to the puzzle for launching our first Fast LNG in Altamira.”

“Obtaining this authorization not only paves the way for operations to commence at our new LNG hub in the third quarter of this year, but it also advances our efforts to expand access to cleaner, cheaper and more reliable energy to customers around the world,” he said.

More units

NFE is currently working on up to five floating LNG production units using its “Fast LNG” liquefaction design that incorporates modular, midsize liquefaction technology with jack up rigs or similar offshore infrastructure.

Last year, NFE signed separate deals with CFE and Pemex aimed at installing floating 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.

NFE said last month that it expects the first FLNG, which is under construction at the Kiewit Offshore Services shipyard near Corpus Christi, Texas, to start production off Altamira in July this year.

Chris Guinta, NFE’s finance chief said during the company’s first-quarter earnings call that the firm had begun commissioning of the first FLNG worth about $1 billion and expects it to be fully deployed in August.

Guinta also announced that NFE 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, he said.

NFE expects that both of the 1.4 mtpa units, each worth about $900 million, will be complete in the second quarter of 2024.

First gas is expected from the first unit in August 2024 and from the second in September 2024.

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