The Freeport LNG export terminal in Texas received permission from federal regulators to begin shipping commissioning cargoes as it approaches the start of commercial operations of its first liquefaction train.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission authorized the initial shipments from the Freeport LNG Development LP on Aug. 1.
The developer of the facility south of Houston had sought FERC approval in a July 26 request that asked for the authorization by no later than Aug. 7. Freeport LNG has targeted loading the first cargo in mid-August and an in-service date in September.
Freeport LNG is poised to be the sixth major LNG export facility in the U.S. to begin operations. Kinder Morgan Inc.'s Elba Island LNG in Georgia recently became the fifth, with executives announcing July 17 that liquefaction was underway. The first train of Elba Island is still being commissioned.
The Freeport LNG export terminal, which will have three trains before a planned expansion, is expected to be able to produce about 15.3 million tonnes per annum of LNG.
The FERC authorization for commissioning cargoes for Freeport LNG came just days after the lead construction contractor of the project McDermott International Inc. reaffirmed the shipment of the first commissioning cargo and the schedule for the project, which has faced a series of delays.
"The cone of uncertainty related to project risk is steadily shrinking with each passing quarter," McDermott's President, CEO and Director David Dickson said during a July 29 conference call. (FERC docket numbers CP12-509 and CP12-29)