US LNG player New Fortress Energy said on Thursday it aims to launch a 2.8 mtpa floating liquefaction facility offshore Lousiana in the first quarter of next year, as Europe seeks more US LNG supplies.
Wes Edens-led NFE said in a statement it has filed applications with the US Maritime Administration, the Coast Guard and the Department of Energy to request all necessary permits and regulatory approvals for the project.
The new offshore liquefaction terminal would sit in federal waters about 16 miles off the southeast coast of Grand Isle, Louisiana, in the US Gulf of Mexico.
Moreover, the project would have a capacity of exporting about 145 billion cubic feet of natural gas per year, equivalent to about 2.8 mtpa of LNG, and would access abundant US gas supply by leveraging existing infrastructure, NFE said.
NFE said it has already completed procurement of all long-lead materials while modular assembly of equipment is underway.
“NFE’s Fast LNG liquefaction design pairs the latest advancements in modular, midsize liquefaction technology with jack up rigs or similar offshore infrastructure to enable a much lower cost and faster deployment schedule than today’s floating liquefaction vessels and onshore liquefaction terminals,” the firm said.
Subject to the receipt of all required permits and approvals, the project would become the first floating LNG export development in the US.
NFE did not reveal the price tag of the development.
EU LNG supplies
As part of a recent deal, the US said it would work to supply at least 15 billion cubic meters (bcm) or about 11 million tonnes of LNG to European Union markets this year, as the EU looks to slash dependence on Russian gas.
LNG production off the coast of Louisiana can support the EU’s goal to end its dependence on Russian fossil fuels, NFE said.
The capacity of the project equals more than 25 percent of the targeted increase in US LNG volumes to the EU.
Besides supplying LNG to Europe, the project can also support NFE’s growing business around the world, as countries look to replace oil-based fuels with natural gas, the firm said.
“This announcement demonstrates the flexibility, efficiency and significance of our innovative Fast LNG solution to bring more affordable, reliable and cleaner fuels to customers around the world,” said Wes Edens, chairman and CEO of NFE.
“This is a big step in the growth of our Fast LNG portfolio, which will include both tolling liquefaction for high credit worthy partners like Eni as well as market volumes from our merchant assets like these,” he said.
NFE recently joined forces with Italy’s Eni to deploy its floating liquefaction technology off the coast of Congo for a period of 20 years.
The duo signed a heads of agreement for the deployment of NFE’s liquefaction technology and to negotiate a long-term tolling agreement.