Reconstruction Yields Delays for Freeport LNG Export Facility
Reconstruction Yields Delays for Freeport LNG Export Facility

Reconstruction Yields Delays for Freeport LNG Export Facility

  • 04-Jan-2023 5:21 PM
  • Journalist: Francis Stokes

Texas: Freeport LNG recently announced that after completing the reconstruction of their damaged plant and export operation on the Texas gulf coast, they have pushed back the restart date due to regulatory approval. This marks the fourth time since a devastating June explosion forced them to shut down operations that delays have been necessary. After five months of investigation, independent investors have identified pressure safety valve testing procedure, car seal program deficiencies, and temperature indicator alarms as all being potential contributors to the explosion. On June 8th, operators isolated a piping segment containing cryogenic liquefied natural gas without an adequate overpressure protection system which led to it warming and expanding when exposed to ambient conditions. As a result, a boiling liquid, expanding vapor explosion ruptured the piping segment.

The company recently announced that all reconstructive work necessary for the initial operation of its facility is mostly done, and they have submitted answers to the inquiry posed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. While regulators had pointed out some issues presented in a report containing 64 items, Freeport LNG expects to begin restarting its liquefaction plant no earlier than the second half of January 2023. To move forward with their mission, they are continuing to have close collaboration with regulatory agencies and working towards the safe restart of their facility.

In the wake of the explosion, Freeport aimed to restart its operations in October but has since twice delayed the resumption – first to November, then mid-December. The company plans to bring each of its three liquefaction trains online one at a time in sequence, gradually ramping them up in a gradual manner. They anticipate reaching 2 BCF per day of production by January 2023 and achieving full utilization of both docks by March 2023. The Freeport LNG plant makes up two percent of total US production, receiving around 100 vessels a month from four long-term offtake partners: JERA and Osaka Gas, BP, TotalEnergies, and SK E&S.

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