Venture Global LNG Delays Commercial Ops at Calcasieu Pass in Louisiana

(Reuters) — U.S. liquefied natural gas company Venture Global LNG told federal energy regulators and customers this week that it needs to make repairs at Calcasieu Pass in Louisiana that will delay the start of the export plant's full commercial operations.

Energy analysts noted that unlike Freeport LNG, the work at Calcasieu will likely not have much impact on total U.S. LNG exports.

Venture Global has been working on the 1.6-billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) Calcasieu for months and gas flows have averaged about 1.6 Bcf/d so far this year and 1.4 Bcf/d so far in March.

Freeport LNG, meanwhile, shut its 2.1-Bcf/d export plant in Texas for eight months after a fire in June 2022. Freeport LNG exited that outage in February and returned to near full power this week.

Total gas flows to all seven big U.S. LNG export plants rose to an average of 13.2 Bcf/d so far in March, up from 12.8 Bcf/d in February. That would top the monthly record of 12.9 Bcf/d in March 2022, before Freeport LNG shut.

The seven big U.S. LNG export plants can turn about 13.8 Bcf/d of gas into LNG.

Venture Global said Calcasieu had "failures in the five horizontal heat recovery steam generator (HRSGs) units that facilitate combined-cycle power generation."

The company said employees "observed water loss from HRSG units 2 and 3" due to "leaks in the welds between the upper carbon steel header and finned tubes of the HRSG units."

Venture Global asked the supplier, General Electric Co., "to investigate the cause of the leaks" and noted the "units will require extensive repairs and replacements before the power island can function reliably."

Venture Global said it would provide updates in the future on the timing of the repairs and start of commercial operations.

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