New Fortress Delays Start of Mexico's First LNG Plant to Late May

(Reuters) — New Fortress Energy said on Wednesday it delayed the start of its Altamira LNG plant in Mexico to May and expects to export its first cargo in June after an incident a few days before the country's first LNG export plant was due to begin production.

Altamira LNG Plant (Image source: New Fortress Energy)

U.S.-based New Fortress announced the latest timing for its first Fast LNG (FLNG) train in its first quarter earnings release and presentation.

In its previous results released in February, the company said it expected to produce first LNG in March and send out its first cargo in April.

That too had been a delay from the previous December and September planned start up dates for the first train at the 1.4-million-tonnes-per-annum (MTPA) floating LNG project located off the coast of Altamira.

In a call with analysts on Wednesday, New Fortress Chief Financial Officer Christopher Guinta said there was "an incident with a pipe fracture inside of our cold box last Friday, April 26."

"This is an extremely unfortunate given that we (were) expecting first LNG [a mere] 72 hours later ... Thankfully, no significant injuries were sustained as a result," Guinta said.

"The damage was isolated to one pipe and manifold within the box and is expected to be repaired by next weekend," Guinta said.

The company also said in February that it started construction of a second FLNG train onshore at Altamira and expected to complete that unit in the first quarter of 2026.

New Fortress did not discuss Train 2 in its earnings release and officials were not immediately available to talk about the status of Train 2 at Altamira.

Each Fast LNG unit can turn about 0.18 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas into 1.4 MTPA of LNG.

In the past, New Fortress said the first train at Altamira would cost about $1 billion.

New Fortress stock gained about 4% to a one-week high of $27.17 in midday trade on Wednesday.

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