FERC Approves Full Operations Restart for Freeport LNG in Texas

(Reuters) — U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) company Freeport LNG received approval to return part of its export plant in Texas to full operation, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) said on Wednesday.

The FERC authorized the U.S. second largest LNG export facility to return to service its Phase II infrastructure, which include LNG Loop 2 and Dock 2 for ship loading.

A return to full operation allows the plant, which shut for about eight months from June 2022 to February 2023 after a fire, to supply more LNG to global markets ahead of the winter, when demand for natural gas soars in the Northern Hemisphere.

The approval is based on "actions taken to address the root and contributing causes identified as a result of the June 8, 2022 incident, as well as satisfactory progression of cool down activities, including remedial actions taken", the FERC said in a release.

Freeport was not immediately available for comment.

Global gas prices spiked to record highs in Europe and Asia over the summer of 2022 due in part to the Freeport LNG shutdown, while Russia was reducing the amount of gas it supplied to Europe after Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.

In the first phase of its restart efforts, Freeport returned its three liquefaction trains, two LNG storage tanks and a berth (Dock 1) to service.

When operating at full power, the three liquefaction trains at Freeport LNG can turn about 2.1 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of gas into LNG.

The plant, which has had several incidents that caused liquefaction trains to trip over the past few months, has been pulling in an average of 1.9 Bcf/d of feed gas since mid-March, according to data from financial firm LSEG.

One billion cubic feet of gas is enough to supply about 5 million U.S. homes for a day.

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