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Toshiba affiliate forms unit to get gas to Freeport LNG export terminal

As the Freeport LNG export terminal takes shape along the Texas coast, one of the project's tolling customers is forming a unit focused on coordinating the logistics of moving U.S. natural gas to the facility where it can be supercooled into LNG and shipped overseas.

Toshiba America Inc., an affiliate of the Tokyo-based Toshiba Corp., announced Aug. 3 that it has formed a separate branch that will be responsible for "coordinating and assembling the necessary infrastructure chain" to produce U.S. LNG, which the company plans on marketing to consumers in Latin America, the Caribbean and Asia. Toshiba America LNG Corp. has entered a pipeline capacity agreement with an affiliate of Enbridge (US) Inc. to bring gas to the Freeport facility, according to the news release. The company has a separate agreement with Gulf LNG for tug services.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in July 2014 approved Freeport LNG to build and operate three liquefaction trains. The developer in June said the initial units will start up sequentially between the fourth quarter of 2018 and the third quarter of 2019.

Freeport LNG is also seeking FERC authorization for an expansion project that would add roughly 5.1 million tonnes per annum of LNG production capacity. The developer filed a formal application for a proposed fourth liquefaction train June 29, announcing a day later that the project is beginning front-end engineering and design work.

About 13.4 million tonnes per annum, or about 1.8 Bcf/d, from the first three trains is contracted under take-or-pay tolling agreements with Toshiba, Osaka Gas Co. Ltd., Jera Energy America LLC and SK E&S LNG, LLC.