QatarEnergy, ExxonMobil update on Golden Pass LNG work

Energy giants QatarEnergy and ExxonMobil released the latest construction update for their Golden Pass LNG export terminal on the US Gulf Coast near Sabine Pass, Texas.

State-owned QatarEnergy owns a 70 percent stake in the three-train Golden Pass project with a capacity of more than 18 mtpa and will offtake 70 percent of the capacity, while US energy firm ExxonMobil has a 30 percent share.

A joint venture of Chiyoda, McDermott, and Zachry won the contract to build the tree Golden Pass trains worth more than $10 billion next to the existing LNG import terminal.

However, US construction company Zachry Holdings said on May 21 it has filed for bankruptcy, initiating a structured exit from the Golden Pass LNG export project due to “financial challenges” related to the construction of the facility.

Following the announcement, Golden Pass LNG said that work continues on the project with McDermott and Chiyoda, the other two parties to the EPC contract, with thousands of workers on site.

“The project is already 75 percent progressed and we are committed to completing the project,” it said.

QatarEnergy, ExxonMobil update on Golden Pass LNG work
MP01 compressor station (Image: Golden Pass LNG)

Construction report

Golden Pass LNG Terminal and Golden Pass Pipeline said in the newest construction report filed with the US FERC that Golden Pass is continuing to carry out Phase I and Phase II activities, such as storm water management levee construction, stockpiling of material, piling, pre-commissioning, and electrical commissioning.

Golden Pass and its contractors progressed installation of piping and steel in process and utilities areas and flare wall modifications, continued piping and vessels insulation activities, while concrete foundation pours continued in train 2 and train 3.

In addition, Golden Pass progressed setting various vessels on respective foundations and progressed brownfield tie-ins in trains 2 and 3, and progressed brownfield tie-ins and LNG tank tops modifications scope.

Golden Pass also progressed cable tray installations and cable pulling activities and continued pipe pneumatic / hydrostatic testing program.

As per the pipeline expansion project, Golden Pass continued civil activities and concrete foundation pours at the MP33 and MP69 compressor stations and also continued pipe fabrication and installation at these stations.

It also continued construction activities of the Sabine Spur, Natural Gas Pipeline (NGPL)
Interconnect improvements, and associated facilities.

Image: Golden Pass LNG

Pipeline launch pushed back, Zachry layoffs

The FERC said in an inspection report released last week that the anticipated in-service timing for the pipeline expansion project is expected “sometime in the first half of 2025”.

“The lead construction contractor for the export terminal project declared bankruptcy on May 21, 2024, which may impact completion timelines,” it said.

The regulator said in a previous report that the anticipated in-service timing for the pipeline expansion project “is expected sometime prior to the second half of 2024”.

The FERC did not provide the timing for the liquefaction trains in the newest report.

In its previous reports, FERC said that the anticipated timing for the first Golden Pass train “is the second half of 2024, with the second and the third train following after”.

ExxonMobil previously said that “train 1 mechanical completion is expected at the end of 2024 with first LNG in first half of 2025.”

LNG Prime contacted Golden Pass LNG for a comment on the matter. The JV said that it does not have updates at this time.

We also contacted Zachry to provide additional info regarding reports that it has laid off more than 4,000 Golden Pass LNG workers following the recent Chapter 11 process, but we did not receive a reply.

According to a list of WARN notices with the Texas Workforce Commission, Zachry Industrial will lay off 4,410 workers.

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