The Freeport LNG project in Texas will have an export capacity of more than 20mtpa

Freeport LNG Terminal

Image: The Freeport LNG Terminal with four trains will have an export capacity of more than 20mtpa. Photo: courtesy of Freeport LNG Development, L.P.

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has granted approval to the proposed fourth liquefaction train of the Freeport LNG Terminal in Texas to export domestically produced natural gas to non-free trade agreement (non-FTA) countries.

Freeport LNG Terminal capacity

The Freeport LNG Terminal, which is being built in Quintana Island near Freeport, will see the addition of a fourth train with a capacity of 5 million tonnes per annum (mtpa). Recently approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the fourth train will increase the export capacity of the Freeport LNG project to more than 20mtpa.

The DOE has authorised the Freeport LNG Development, the holding company of the project, to export up to 0.72 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas as LNG from the fourth train. The expansion of the LNG facility is expected to support 3,000 engineering and construction jobs along with hundreds of indirect jobs related to the project, said the DOE.

US Under Secretary of Energy Mark Menezes said: “Increasing export capacity from the Freeport LNG project is critical to spreading freedom gas throughout the world by giving America’s allies a diverse and affordable source of clean energy. Further, more exports of U.S. LNG to the world means more U.S. jobs and more domestic economic growth and cleaner air here at home and around the globe.”’

Commissioning of Freeport LNG Terminal

Train 4 of the LNG export project is expected to begin operations in 2023. Earlier this month, Freeport LNG Development named KBR as the preferred bidder for the engineering, procurement, construction, and commissioning (EPC) contract for the LNG train.

The first liquefaction train of the Freeport LNG Terminal is scheduled to begin operations in Q3 2019 while the second and third trains are likely to be brought into service by mid-2020.

Freeport LNG founder, chairman and CEO Michael Smith said: “We appreciate the Department of Energy’s swift approval, closely coupled with the recent FERC approval, which enables us to further advance our project development and marketing efforts for Train 4.

“Having DOE’s approval marks another significant milestone for Freeport LNG, which brings us one step closer to our goal of moving ahead with Train 4 construction later this year.”