No one injured after Freeport LNG incident

No one was injured on Wednesday after an incident at the Freeport liquefaction and export plant in Texas, according to the terminal owner.

“An incident occurred at the Freeport LNG facility on Quintana Island at about 11:40 am. There were no injuries, all employees and contractors have been accounted for and there is no risk to the surrounding community,” a spokeswoman for Freeport LNG told LNG Prime in an emailed statement on Wednesday.

“The incident investigation will continue,” the spokeswoman said.

Local media reports suggest that a small fire occurred after an explosion near one of the facility’s three LNG tanks.

Freeport LNG to remain offline for at least three weeks

After the initial report on the incident, Freeport LNG issued an update on Thursday.

“As a result of yesterday’s fire, Freeport LNG’s liquefaction facility is shut down and will remain shut down for a minimum of three weeks,” the spokeswoman said.

The incident comes at a time when US terminals, including Freeport LNG, ship the majority of its volumes to Europe.

US natural gas prices also dropped on the news of the incident.

Three trains with plans for fourth

Freeport LNG, led by billionaire Michael Smith, launched commercial operations in May 2020 for the third train at its facility.

This event also marked the full commercial operation of Freeport LNG’s $13.5 billion, three-train facility. It has a capacity of more than 15 mtpa.

BP, Jera, Osaka Gas, SK E&S, and TotalEnergies have long-term contracts with Freeport LNG.

Freeport LNG is also planning to add another production unit with a capacity of 5 mtpa but it has not yet taken a final investment decision.

The firm recently asked US FERC for more time to build the fourth train.

(Article updated on Thursday, June 9, 2022, to say that the LNG plant would remain closed for at least three weeks.)

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