NFE’s final Altamira FLNG rig on way to Mexico

New Fortress Energy’s liquefaction rig, Pioneer II, is on its way to Mexico’s Altamira where it is expected to start serving the company’s first FLNG project next month.

Wes Edens-led NFE announced the sail away of the rig early on Wednesday.

The jackup rig set sail under tow from the Kiewit Offshore Services shipyard in Ingleside, near Corpus Christi, Texas.

According to the AIS data from the vessels which are towing Pioneer II, the rig departed the yard on Tuesday and is expected to arrive off Altamira during the weekend.

Following arrival off Altamira, the rig will meet Pioneer I and III, completing all the rigs for NFE’s Fast LNG 1 unit, NFE said.

“Pioneer II receives clean natural gas from Pioneer I, the gas treatment rig, then liquefies the gas and transfers the LNG to the floating storage unit (FSU),” it said.

NFE added that the next milestone is the first gas supplies from the $1.3 billion project, but the firm did not provide any additional information.

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

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.

First gas in October?

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 on Wednesday 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.

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