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Freeport LNG May Be Ready To Start Exporting

The Freeport LNG plant in Texas may soon be ready to start loading its first LNG cargo, S&P Global Platts reports, after data from its trade flow software cFlow showed an empty LNG tanker en route to the facility.

When approached for a comment, a spokeswoman for Freeport LNG declined to provide any, citing confidentiality concerns. The spokeswoman did say, however, that production at the plant would begin soon.

Freeport LNG is slated to have a nameplate export capacity of 13.9 million tons of LNG eventually and the start of commercial production was scheduled for this September. If the facility begins operating ahead of schedule it will be a rare occurrence in an industry ridden with delays and cost overruns.

The project was not spared its share of delays: feeding gas into the first liquefaction train began several months later than originally planned, pushing back the start of operation of the train, initially scheduled to launch in the final quarter of 2018.

Freeport received the go-ahead from the Department of Energy to start exporting LNG in September last year beginning in September this year. At the time, Freeport LNG said it had already secured one long-term export deal with a U.S. division of Japan’s Sumitomo Corp for the delivery of 2.2 million tons of liquefied natural gas annually over a 20-year period.

Freeport LNG also sealed long-term offtake deals with Osaka Gas, Chubu Electric, BP, Total, and SK E&S. The first two deals re for 2.2 million tons annually each, while the deal with BPO will see the supermajor lift 4.4 million tons of LNG from Freeport’s second train. Total and South Korea’s SK E&S will divide between themselves another 4.4 million tons, to be produced from train 3.

The second train of the facility should be commissioned in January 2020, again with a delay, and the third train’s launch has been pushed forward to May 2020.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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