Kinder Morgan said it would start-up its Elba Island LNG export plant in Georgia in late April after receiving regulatory permission in early March to introduce feed-gas, back-up fuel and boil-off gas into its systems comprising 10 small-scale liquefaction Trains. Initially Train-1 was meant to start by the end of 2018, but the timeline slipped over construction delays.
Kinder Morgan said it had expected the first train to come on line by the end of March and the remaining Trains following during the year. The company admitted it had to revise its initial in-service date expectations for the Elba Island LNG Project due to “delays during construction.” The first unit of the project is now expected to be in commercial service in late April.
Elba Island is an existing import terminal that has been transformed into an export plant to produce an initial 2.5 mtpa of LNG. Kinder Morgan, based in Houston, has developed the plant at a cost of just $2 billion and will have feed-gas needs equivalent to around 350 million cubic feet per day.
The Georgia terminal is among three US liquefaction facilities that are expected to begin service in 2019, adding to the country's growing energy export industry. Start-ups for Elba Island, Sempra Energy’s Cameron LNG in Louisiana and the Freeport plant in Texas would double the number of US LNG export terminals in operation. The Cameron and Freeport projects have also been delayed by holds ups and problems in construction.
According to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the liquefaction Trains 1-6 at Elba Island are expected to start entering service at one-month intervals. Elba Island’s Trains 7-10 are then scheduled to come on stream in the third quarter of 2019. The Georgia project is supported by a 20-year supply contract with Royal Dutch Shell.