Driftwood LNG project, planned to be developed on the west bank of Calcasieu River in Louisiana, US, involves the construction of a 27.6 million ton per annum (Mtpa) LNG terminal and 154.5km of feed gas pipeline.

Tellurian, a natural gas company based in Texas, will own and operate the LNG processing and export facility through its wholly-owned subsidiary Driftwood Holdings.

The front-end engineering and design (FEED) study for the project was completed in the first half of 2017, while the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) agreements were concluded in November 2017.

The U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued the final environmental impact statement (EIS) for the LNG project in January2019 and granted authorization to build and operate the LNG facility along with the pipeline in April 2019.

Final investment decision and the start of construction on the project are expected in the second  half of 2019, while operations are expected to be commenced in 2023.

In May 2019, the U.S. Department of Energy authorized Tellurian to export up to 3.88 billion cubic feet (bcf ) of LNG  a day to  countries that do not have free trade agreement (FTA) with the US.

Driftwood LNG project details

Driftwood LNG export facility will process the gas feed from the existing interstate pipeline system of Columbia Gulf Transmission.

Planned to be built in four phases, the project will interconnect with up to 14 interstate pipelines, receive up to four billion cubic feet a day (bcf/d) of feed gas, and produce up to 27.6Mtpa of LNG for export.

Once brought on stream, Driftwood LNG is expected to become one of the lowest-cost LNG production projects in the world.

Details of Driftwood LNG liquefaction and loading facility

The Driftwood facility will comprise five LNG plants with each plant housing one gas pre-treatment unit for condensate and water removal, and four liquefaction units.

Each of the 20 liquefaction units at Driftwood will produce up to 1.38Mtpa of LNG, using Integrated Pre-cooled Single Mixed Refrigerant (IPSMR®) liquefaction technology.

The LNG facility will use 20 GE refrigeration compressors and three 235,000m³ storage tanks.

The terminal will have three marine loading berths for the commercial supply of LNG from the facility. Located near the junction of the Calcasieu Ship Channel and the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW), each marine berth will be capable of accommodating 216,000m3 LNG carriers.

The LNG facility will receive power supply through two 230kV transmission lines connecting the existing Big Lake and Mud Lake substations. A 230kV/34.5kV switchyard will be constructed within the project site by Entergy Louisiana.

Driftwood LNG construction

The first phase of construction will involve eight liquefaction units, two storage tanks, and a loading berth.

The second and third phases will add four liquefaction units and one loading berth each.

The fourth and the final phase will involve the construction of four more liquefaction units and other associated facilities.

Feed gas pipeline for Driftwood LNG

The proposed 154.5km feed gas pipeline for Driftwood LNG facility will stretch from the interconnection point with the interstate pipeline system, located 7.2km south of Ville Platte.

The pipeline system will include 119km of 48in diameter single pipeline, 17.7km of 42in diameter single pipeline, 17.7km of 36in diameter single pipeline, and 5.6km of 30in diameter pipeline lateral.

It will include three compressor stations at Gillis, Basile, and Mamou and up to 15 meter stations, 17 mainline valves, and six pig launchers and receiver facilities. With 13 interconnections, the pipeline will handle up to 35bcf of flowing gas a day.

Driftwood LNG project financing

Tellurian initiated a process to raise $24bn for Driftwood Holdings, with Goldman Sachs and SG Americas Securities serving as financial advisors, in January 2018.

Tellurian has been in talks with several companies to select equity partners for the project.

Potential LNG buyers for the project have the opportunity to become equity investors of Driftwood Holdings and buy LNG from the Louisiana facility at an operating cost, which is estimated to be as low as $3 per million metric British thermal unit (MmBtu).

Tellurian entered a heads of agreement (HoA) with Total in April 2018, for $500m equity investment and 2.5Mtpa of LNG off-take from Driftwood, in April 2018.

Tellurian further signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Petronet LNG for equity investment in the project, in February 2019.

Contractors involved in the Driftwood LNG project

Bechtel was awarded four turnkey contracts worth $15.2bn covering the EPC of the Driftwood LNG export facility in four phases, in November 2017. Bechtel was also the FEED contractor for the project.

Chart Energy and Chemicals will provide the liquefaction technology for the LNG facility. GE Oil and Gas will supply the turbines and compressors for the facility.

SG Americas Securities was selected to provide financial strategy and planning for the Driftwood LNG project in March 2017.