New Fortress Energy of US signs agreements to place Nicaragua among LNG importing nations

Tuesday, 18 February 2020
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New Fortress Energy, the owner of liquefied natural gas facilities in Florida and in Jamaica and projects in Puerto Rico, has signed an agreement to supply LNG to Nicaragua and to deploy a floating import as part of a power venture.

New Fortress also signed a 25-year power purchase agreement with two of Nicaragua’s main electricity distribution companies.

As part of the agreement, New Fortress will construct a natural gas-fired power plant with a capacity of around 300 megawatts near Puerto Sandino to supply power to Nicaragua’s national electric grid. 

“The plant is expected to contribute to the advancement of the country’s long-term economic development while also assisting the transition to lower-carbon, more environmentally friendly energy,” said New Fortress.

The US company, whose corporate headquarters are in New York, will supply natural gas to the plant via a floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) offshore Puerto Sandino on the Pacific Coast. 

The port was formerly known as Puerto Somoza before the 1979 revolution in the Central American nation.

Under the terms of the power agreement, New Fortress is expected to provide natural gas over 25 years, which will be the equivalent of about 700,000 gallons of LNG (60,000 MMBtu) per day.

“The project is expected to be funded with cash on hand and funds from operations,” said New Fortress.

“The terminal and the plant are anticipated to begin commercial operations in the second half of 2021, subject to various conditions, including obtaining required licenses and permits,” added the company.

New Fortress recently signed a long-term LNG supply agreement for eight cargoes a year for 10 years through January 2030.

The New Fortress company is led by Wes Edens, co-founder of the private equity group Fortress Investment.

New Fortress made its debut on the Nasdaq global exchange in January 2019 after an initial public offering. 

Its main corporate focus now is introducing LNG to markets that lack access to the fuel.

In addition to its 100,000 gallons per day liquefaction plant in Miami, it operates a floating LNG terminal in Montego Bay, Jamaica, along with a fuel-handling facility and an associated contract in the US territory of Puerto Rico.

The New Fortress Puerto Rico subsidiary, NFEnergía, has also entered into a contract with the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority for the supply of natural gas and conversion of two out of six units at the San Juan combined-cycle power plant. 

The Miami facility began operations in April 2016 and enables the company to produce LNG for export in intermodal ISO containers to the Caribbean and to small-scale customers in southern Florida.

The company is also looking at developing a Pennsylvania LNG distribution facility. 

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