Freeport gets FERC approval for LNG export project

The GIP-backed company has received a go-ahead from the regulator to move forward with its Texas-based Freeport Liquefaction Project.

Freeport LNG, in which Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) bought a minority stake for $850 million last month, has got the greenlight from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for a liquefied natural gas export facility near the city of Freeport, Texas.

The Freeport Liquefaction Project includes the construction and operation of a liquefaction plant with three trains – each with a capacity of 4.4 million metric tons per annum – representing a total liquefaction capacity of 1.8Bcf/d, according to a FERC statement.

The project also includes a pretreatment plant that will interconnect with several pipelines as well as facilities to allow bi-directional flow of gas through the existing Freeport pipeline.

In addition, FERC authorised Freeport LNG’s Phase II Modification Project intended to revamp the previously authorised, but unconstructed Phase II Project. The Phase II Modification Project comprises three major components: reorientation of the Phase II dock, modification of the transfer facilities, and modification of access roads at the terminal.

The two projects will be constructed together at Freeport’s existing Quintana Island terminal.

In its review, FERC also commended Freeport LNG to adhere to more than 80 conditions to mitigate potential adverse environmental impacts.

The US Department of Energy has approved – albeit under conditions – Freeport LNG’s export of gas to both Free Trade Agreement and non-Free Trade Agreement countries.

Freeport LNG has already signed several 20-year liquefaction tolling agreements with international buyers – Train 1 with Osaka Gas and Chubu Electric, Train 2 with BP Energy Company and Train 3 with Toshiba Corporation and SK EKS.

The Freeport LNG export facility is the third approved by FERC – there are a total of 10 LNG export projects that have filed formal applications pending before the commission, and there are three LNG export projects in the pre-filing, according to the statement.