Freeport signs agreement to restart partial operations

Thursday, 04 August 2022
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Freeport LNG Development and the US Pipeline Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) have signed a Consent Agreement to enable the possible restart of partial operations in October.

The facility was closed, following an 8th June fire and explosion, which occurred at the Texas Freeport LNG's liquefaction plant.  

Under the terms of the agreement, the obligations are intended to ensure that Freeport LNG can safely resume initial LNG production and thereafter ultimately return to full operation of all its liquefaction facilities.

In the near term, the agreement includes certain corrective measures, many of which are currently underway, that Freeport LNG is to take to obtain PHMSA approval for an initial resumption of LNG production at its liquefaction facility.

Freeport LNG said that it believed that it can still complete the necessary measures, along with repair and restoration activities, in order to resume initial operations in early October.

Initial operations are expected to include three liquefaction trains, two LNG storage tanks and one LNG loading dock, which the company said will enable it to deliver around 2 bill cu ft per day of LNG - enough to support its existing long-term customer agreements.

In addition to the repair and replacement of Freeport LNG's infrastructure that was damaged in the incident, and as part of the corrective measures to be taken under the agreement, the company is evaluating and promoting initiatives on training, process safety management, operations and maintenance procedure improvements, and facility inspections, the operator said.

Freeport was the second largest US LNG export facility, supplying up to 20% of exports before the fire and explosion caused the complete shutdown of the facilities. 

The explosion was caused by an over-pressurised pipeline, US investigators have reported. 

As a result of the announcement, US natgas prices jumped by more than 7% on Wednesday.

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