Freeport LNG to Load First Cargo From Texas Plant

HOUSTON (P&GJ) — Freeport LNG, which recently received federal approval for construction of a fourth liquefaction train at its Quintana Island plant, appears on schedule to load its first LNG shipment to Asia from Train 1 in the third quarter.

Unloading-Loading arms at the Freeport LNG export terminal dock. (photo: Freeport LNG)

Two LNG tankers, LNG Jurojin and Sohshu Maru, are en route to the plant likely to pick up commissioning cargoes, according to a Reuters report attributed to industry sources and ship-tracking data from Eikon. Freeport LNG did not respond to a request for confirmation from Pipeline & Gas Journal, but the timing of the tanker arrivals align with the company's previously announced schedule to start export operations.

In May, Freeport LNG received approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to build and operate its fourth natural gas liquefaction train, as well as U.S. Department of Energy approval for Train 4 LNG exports to Non-Free Trade Agreement countries.

Train 4 is part of its existing natural gas liquefaction and LNG export facility on Quintana Island near the coastal city of Freeport, approximately 60 miles south of Houston.  The terminal originally started as an LNG import facility in June 2008, and Freeport LNG's export operations utilize the pipeline, dock, storage tanks and other equipment already in place.

The export facility currently consists of three liquefaction trains, with Train 1 scheduled for commercial startup this quarter and commercial operations of Trains 2 and 3 expected by mid-2020. When the first three trains are in operation next year, the Quintana Island facility will have a capacity of more than 20 million tons per annum (mtpa) and rank 7th in global liquefaction production capacity.

Freeport LNG’s Train 4 will add more than 5 mtpa of LNG production, ranking the facility No. 5 worldwide.

Approximately 13.5 mtpa of this capacity has been contracted under 20-year tolling agreements to Osaka Gas Trading & Export, JERA Energy America, BP Energy Company, Toshiba America LNG, and SK E&S LNG, and approximately 0.5 mtpa has been contracted to Trafigura PTE LTD under a 3-year sale and purchase agreement commencing in 2020.

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