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Cove Point Liquefaction export terminal offline for scheduled annual maintenance

Transporte marítimo

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Cove Point Liquefaction export terminal offline for scheduled annual maintenance

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Work at Maryland facility expected to last three weeks

Freeport LNG appears to ramp back up after hurricane

Berkshire Hathaway-operated Cove Point Liquefaction was offline Sept. 20 for scheduled maintenance that coincided with work being done at a compressor station along a pipeline that supplies gas to the export terminal.

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The shutdown at the Maryland terminal came as Freeport LNG in Texas appeared to ramp back up following a four-day outage last week due to hurricane damage to power infrastructure.

Freeport LNG still appeared to be having trouble with its third train, due to a fault in the electrical system that occurred as it was operating the unit on Sept. 18 as feedgas deliveries to the terminal resumed, according to an air emissions notice to state regulators. A spokesperson declined to say if the problem was resolved or if any of the three trains were producing LNG.

Global LNG market fundamentals remained strong Sept. 20, amid robust demand and widening basin spreads. The S&P Global Platts JKM for November was assessed at $26.440/MMBtu. Platts JKM is the benchmark for spot-traded LNG delivered to Northeast Asia.

Cove Point's annual maintenance began Sept. 20, according to a notice to customers. The turnaround, including a comprehensive inspection, was expected to last about three weeks, a spokesperson, Ann Nallo, said in an e-mail responding to questions. The terminal underwent annual maintenance around the same time in 2018, 2019 and 2020.

Separately, approximately 400 MMcf/d of current receipts onto Cove Point Pipeline was taken offline Sept. 20 for eight days of scheduled work at the Pleasant Valley compressor station. The entire station will be offline during that period. Three engines at the compressor station will be unavailable during additional work form Sept. 29-Oct. 10, according to a notice to customers. Maintenance is scheduled at the Loudoun compressor station from Oct. 4-6.

Cove Point has long-term agreements to supply LNG to Gail India and a joint venture of Japan's Sumitomo and Tokyo Gas.

At Freeport LNG, a tanker that arrived at Freeport LNG before Hurricane Nicholas, the TotalEnergies-chartered LNG Alliance, was still moored at the facility a week later, on Sept. 20. TotalEnergies controls over 2.2 million mt/year of LNG from Train 3.

Based on feedgas nominations to the terminal during the morning cycle, Freeport LNG appeared to be operating at least two of the trains on Sept. 20. Flows resumed Sept. 18, were steady Sept. 19 and increased to about 1.7 Bcf/d on Sept. 20, Platts Analytics data show. The latest figures could be revised during the evening cycle.

All three trains at Freeport LNG, which has total capacity of 15 million mt/year, shut down when Nicholas came ashore early Sept. 14 as a Category 1 hurricane, bringing 75 mph winds and heavy rain. As of Sept. 20, utility CenterPoint's website showed no customers without access to power in the area at and surrounding Freeport LNG.