US LNG project at Brownsville on Gulf Coast signs up buyers from Southeast Asia and China

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

The US venture, led by co-founders and industry veterans Vivek Chandra and Langtry Meyer, is already well into the permitting process of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission as well as front-end engineering and design.

The Texas project is for an export plant with initial capacity of 4 million tonnes per annum using the Air Products propane pre-cooled mixed refrigerant LNG processing system.

The plant will be constructed on a 625-acre site on the north shore of the Brownville Port's deepwater ship channel.

The Department of Energy has granted an export permit for the venture that will be developed as a tolling facility.

Under this system, tolling contract holders will secure liquefaction capacity and provide their own feed-gas resources.

Texas LNG said its four 20-year preliminary accords had been signed with unnamed “state-owned and private LNG buyers in Southeast Asia and China” for a volume of 3.1 MTPA.

“Negotiations for definitive liquefaction tolling agreements and sale purchase agreements are ongoing,” the company said.

“Phase 1 capacity was oversubscribed and Texas LNG was now marketing Phase 2 volumes,” it added.

The project owners said a final investment decision was expected in 2018 and first LNG shipments in 2021-2022, in line with projected global market requirements.

The Texas project headed by Chandra and Meyer is one of several proposed export projects located along the Brownsville Ship Channel. Of the current ventures, two others are also in the FERC process.

They are Annova LNG with plans to produce 6 MTPA and the much larger Rio Grande project of former Shell executive Kathleen Eisbrenner targeting 27 MTPA of output.

The Texas LNG venture is planning to build in two phases, each with production of 2 MTPA.

It will include a single containment storage tank of 210,000 cubic metres and the LNG will be offloaded to conventional LNG tankers berthed at the site.

Texas LNG submitted its request to initiate the FERC pre-filing process in March 2015.

During the past 20 months, Texas LNG and its team of technical, environmental and legal advisers have completed some engineering work and submitted draft resource reports covering a wide range of areas.

They have also engaged in extensive consultations with FERC and other federal and state agencies, including the US Fish and Wildlife Service, US Army Corps of Engineers, US Coast Guard and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

Texas LNG said it continued to believe that “smaller independent projects that promise low cost, low technical risks, and offer transparent, flexible tolling terms” will be best placed for development.

The project was formerly wholly owned by Chandra and Meyer, who still hold the respective positions of Chief Executive and Chief Operating Officer.

The shareholders now also include minority interests held by South Korean engineering group Samsung and several others, including an equity fund.

Texas LNG asserted in its filing to the DoE that shale plays including the Haynesville, Eagle Ford and Barnett, as well as other pipeline natural gas sources, would provide adequate feed-gas for the venture.

It said it would facilitate contractual arrangements between LNG purchasers and natural gas suppliers, including exploration companies, pipeline companies, and natural gas traders.

Texas LNG has stated that feed-gas for the project would be transported to the site boundary via a 150-mile pipeline, originating at the Agua Dulce Hub located near Corpus Christi, Texas.