Delayed Freeport LNG project in Texas finally starts commissioning of first production Train

Monday, 22 July 2019
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Engineering firms McDermott International and partners Chiyoda Corp. of Japan and the US Zachry Group said the first liquefaction Train at the Freeport LNG project on Quintana Island in Texas has reached the final commissioning stage.

This includes the introduction of feed gas into Train 1 of the natural gas import facility that is being transformed into a liquefaction and LNG export plant after several project delays.

“We are extremely proud of the Freeport LNG project team for reaching this major milestone at this unique LNG production facility,” said Mark Coscio, McDermott's Senior Vice President for North, Central and South America.

“First of its kind in the US, with the largest electric-motor driven refrigeration compressors, the Freeport LNG facility will significantly improve the energy export capabilities we have in the US, and McDermott is pleased to be part of its development from the ground up,” added Coscio.

Once Train 1 is fully operational, it will have the capacity to produce more than 5 million tonnes of LNG per annum.

Zachry Group, as the joint venture lead, engaged McDermott for the Pre-FEED in 2011, followed by FEED works to support the early development stage of the project.

Later Chiyoda joined the partnership and the joint team provided engineering, procurement and facility construction as well as commissioning and initial operations for the project.

It includes three liquefaction Trains with 15 MTPA of capacity, a second loading berth and a 165,000 cubic metres full containment LNG storage tank.

The orginal Freeport terminal was completed in 2008 with one berth and two storage tanks, each of 160,000 cubic metres capacity.

The Freeport project is led by oil and gas entrepreneur Michael Smith, who is Chairman and Chief Executive of the development company.

Freeport received regulatory approval in 2019 to build an additional Train 4 and permits from the US Department of Energy for the export of Train 4 volumes to Non-Free Trade Agreement countries, opening the way for marketing.

The Freeport Train 4 will take overall output to 20 MTPA. About 13.5 MTPA of this capacity has been contracted under 20-year tolling agreements to Japanese utilities Osaka Gas and JERA Co. Inc., BP of the UK, South Korea’s SK E&S, while a fifth deal with Toshiba Corp. was off-loaded in June 2019 by the troubled Japanese company to French energy major Total.

There is also a sixth deal, a sales agreement for 500,000 tonnes per annum contracted to international commodities firm Trafigura in the form of a three-year accord starting in 2020.

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