The United States Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has granted a permit to Freeport LNG project to start exporting commissioning cargoes from the facility on Quintana Island in Freeport, Texas.
“This authorization does not grant approval for commencement of service,” the commission said in its notice.
Such authorization will only be granted following a determination that the facilities have been constructed in accordance with the Commission approval and applicable standards, can be expected to operate safely as designed, and the rehabilitation and restoration of the areas affected by the project are proceeding satisfactorily, the notice reads.
However, the local media outlet The Facts, the contractors have been pulled from the site on Thursday, August 1, following a gas leak that occurred during the start-up and cool down of the first liquefaction train at the facility.
The leak source has been isolated and has not spread outside the process unit, the statement read.
To remind, Freeport LNG’s first three trains are expected to enter service between September 1, 2019, and May 1, 2020, after being delayed earlier this year due to the effects of Hurricane Harvey that saw equipment lay-yards flooded.
Each of the three liquefaction trains are expected to have a capacity in excess of 5 million tonnes per year. The fourth liquefaction train will have a similar nominal production.
Freeport LNG has received approval from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for the export of Train 4 volumes to non-free trade agreement countries, earlier in May.
Train 4 is expected to add over 5 million tonnes per annum of LNG production to its existing project, increasing the total export capability of the four-train facility to over 20 mtpa.
Approximately 13.5 mtpa of this capacity was contracted under 20-year tolling agreements to Osaka Gas Trading & Export, JERA Energy America, BP, Total and SK E&S LNG, and approximately 0.5 mtpa was contracted to Trafigura PTE under a 3-year sale and purchase agreement beginning in 2020.