Elba Island LNG, the small US export facility near Savannah in Georgia, was been given permission by regulators to start commercial services from the fifth Train in its Moveable Modular Liquefaction System pioneered by Royal Dutch Shell.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission granted a request by US pipeline company Kinder Morgan to start exporting from Train 5 of the 10 completed small-scale Trains.
Elba Island has nameplate output of 2.5 million tonnes per annum and is the smallest of the six US export plants currently on stream.
The fifth export plant at Cove Point in Maryland, owned by Dominion Energy, and like the Georgia plant located on the Atlantic Coast, is the next smallest with 5.2 MTPA of output.
The other four liquefaction facilities are on the Gulf Coast and are on a larger commcerial scale of up to 27 MTPA. Two are owned by Cheniere Energy at Sabine Pass in Louisiana and Corpus Christi in Texas.
There is also the Sempra Energy-owned Cameron plant in Louisiana and the Freeport plant at Quintana Island in Texas.
Kinder Morgan had initially expected the first Train at Elba Island to come on stream by the end of March 2019 and the remaining Trains following during the year.
However, the project was hit by construction delays and the original start-up day was gradually pushed back with the first cargo being shipped in December 2019.
Using Shell's Movable Modular Liquefaction System meant that the Trains were largely assembled off-site and delivered to Elba Island.
The Georgia project is supported by a 20-year supply contract with Shell, which was one of the original investors.
Kinder Morgan is also building a second LNG export plant at an existing terminal in Mississippi called Gulf LNG in partnership with several equity funds.
That project near Pascagoula has received all FERC approvals.
The existing Gulf import terminal has storage and jetty infrastructure and is to be transformed into a liquefaction plant to produce an initial 11.5 MTPA of LNG for export.
It is located next to the Bayou Casotte Navigation Channel and includes a five-mile send-out pipeline and two LNG storage tanks, each with a capacity of 160,000 cubic metres.