A fire and explosion on 8 June 2022 kept the second largest US LNG export facility shuttered for eight months. A release of LNG led to the formation and ignition of a natural gas vapor cloud, and subsequent fire and explosion at the facility. Prior to the shutdown of the facility, a majority of its LNG cargoes were sent to Europe.
Returning To Service
The authorisation, issued on 21 February, clears the way for full return to service of one liquefaction train, which has already restarted, and the incremental restart and full return to service of a second train. The restart and return to service of Freeport LNG’s third liquefaction train will require subsequent regulatory approval once certain operational conditions are met. For the week of 15 February, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported three of the 26 LNG carriers departing from the US were from Freeport LNG. On 9 February, Freeport LNG received approval from the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to resume ship loading activities from LNG Dock 1 facilities.
“A conservative ramp-up profile to establish three-train production of approximately 2.0 billion cubic feet per day is anticipated to occur over the next several weeks as stable operation of each incremental train is established and maintained,” said the company.
Initially, operations will use two of Freeport LNG’s three LNG storage tanks and one of its two LNG berths. The second LNG berth and third LNG storage tank are expected to return to service in May. First LNG production and ship loading from the facility began on 11 February. “Over the past eight months, we have implemented enhancements to our processes, procedures and training to ensure safe and reliable operations, and significantly increased staffing levels with extensive LNG and petrochemical operating experience to reduce overtime, enhance operational excellence, and improve quality assurance and business performance,” said Freeport LNG chairman and CEO Michael Smith.
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