Freeport LNG , a major LNG export facility on the Gulf of Mexico, has said that it was confident it could restart LNG exports from its Gulf Coast plant on time in October after reaching an agreement with regulators to resume operations. There had been fears that a fire earlier this summer would put the facility out of action until the end of the year, exacerbating the current global shortage of refined fuel.
The Consent Agreement entered into with the Pipeline Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) paves the way for the restarting of LNG production at the 15m metric per year (mtpa) liquefaction and export facility, which is on Quintana Island in Texas.
The plant is the second largest in the US and the seventh-largest in the world. It had been offline since the fire on June 8th. The plant’s closure contributed to falling US LNG exports in June and July, even as European demand grew significantly.
The Consent Agreement includes corrective measures in order to obtain approval for an initial resumption of LNG production. Freeport LNG said many of the measures were already underway and that it believed it could complete all necessary measures, along with the applicable repair and restoration activities, in order to resume initial operations in early October – at close to 100% of capacity.
Initial operations are expected to consist of three liquefaction trains, two LNG storage tanks and one LNG loading dock, which Freeport LNG believes will enable delivery of approximately 2 billion cubic feet (BCF) per day of LNG, equivalent to 14.9 mpta, which it said was enough to support its existing long-term agreements with overseas customers.
Freeport LNG had previously anticipated a partial restart in October and full operations by the end of the year.
“In addition to the repair and replacement of Freeport LNG’s physical infrastructure that was damaged in the incident, and as part of the corrective measures under the Consent Agreement, the company is evaluating and advancing initiatives related to training, process safety management, operations and maintenance procedure improvements, and facility inspections,” Freeport LNG said.