The MPL LNG Project is a 12 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) natural gas liquefaction and export facility planned to be developed at Puerto Libertad, Sonora, Mexico.

To be owned and operated by Mexico Pacific Limited (MPL), a joint venture between DKRW Energy Sonora and AECOM Capital, the LNG export facility is planned to be developed in three phases of 4Mtpa capacity each.

A consortium led by AVAIO Capital, the former private infrastructure investment arm of AECOM, acquired control of the project in October 2019.

The front-end engineering and design (FEED) contract for the project was awarded in March 2020, while the final investment decision (FID) on the 4Mtpa phase one development of the facility is expected in 2021.

Scheduled to commence operations in 2024, the MPL LNG facility is intended to supply low-cost LNG to the Mexican, South American and Asian customers, by liquefying the abundantly available Permian and South Texas natural gas from the US.

Location and site details

The MPL LNG export terminal is planned to be developed on a 1,100acre-site at Puerto Libertad, on the West Coast of Mexico.

The project site features a natural deep-water port with outer harbour depths exceeding 20m.

The project site is also located adjacent to the existing natural gas pipeline infrastructure and offers closer proximity to the Asian and South American LNG demand centres compared to the LNG export facilities on the US Gulf Coast.

The strategic location of the MPL LNG export facility is expected to reduce the shipping cost to Asia by approximately 35% while avoiding the Panama Canal route, compared to the US Gulf Coast LNG facilities.

Located approximately 258km away from the US-Mexico border, the MPL LNG project site was authorised to export 1.7 billion cubic feet (bcf) of US shale gas a day more than 12 years ago.

MPL LNG Project details

Sourcing natural gas from the Permian and San Juan gas basins of the US, the MPL LNG project will serve as a major outlet for US shale gas.

The facility will receive gas through the existing 36-in diametre IEnova pipeline as well as through other natural gas supply routes from Henry Hub and Waha, the US in phase one. The project is also expected to have its own pipeline in the future.

The MPL LNG export infrastructure is also expected to commercialise the potential Mexican natural gas resources in the future.

The liquefaction facility will be developed through modular LNG technology allowing for faster and simpler construction, while the "plug and play" design will support future expansions.

The deep-water port facility at the site will be capable of accommodating large LNG vessels.

Contractors involved

TechnipFMC was awarded the front-end engineering and design (FEED) contract for the MPL LNG export facility in March 2020.

TechnipFMC was also engaged for pre-FEED studies for the project in 2018.

The key equipment for the liquefaction facility will be supplied by Baker Hughes, a subsidiary of GE.

KBR was contracted to conduct a pre-FEED study as well as provide a cost estimate for the project by using ConocoPhillips Optimized Cascade® technology in February 2019.