U.S. liquefied natural gas company Freeport LNG has asked federal regulators to extend the deadline until August 2028 to build a fourth liquefaction train at its export plant in Texas.
The U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has approved the construction of a fourth train in May 2019, with Freeport expected to complete the train by May 2023, the company said in a filing Monday.
In September 2020, FERC extended Freeport’s fourth train to May 2026.
Freeport, however, said it had not begun construction of Train 4 “due in large part to delays” caused by the Kovid-19 epidemic.
“The impact of the epidemic on the global community has now diminished considerably, and global demand for US LNG has revived and is expected to remain strong,” Freeport said.
The company said it was “actively marketing the Train 4 project capabilities to many potential off-trackers, especially in the European market, and is in active discussions with a number of potential customers.”
Freeport added that it was participating in the US-European Commission’s Energy Security Task Force, recently announced by US President Joe Biden to help supply LNG to Europe.
The United States has promised to supply LNG to Europe to help Washington’s allies reduce their dependence on Russian power after the Moscow invasion of Ukraine.
But since it will take about 48 to 56 months to build Train 4, Freeport says it is “impossible” to meet the current May 2026 in-service deadline.
Freeport’s three operating trains can convert about 2.1 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day into LNG.
Freeport’s customers include units of Osaka Gas Co Ltd, JERA, BP Plc, Total SA and SK E&S. JERA is an alliance between Tokyo Electric Power Co Holdings Inc and Chubu Electric Power Co Inc.
(Editing by Paul Simao Reporting by Scott Desavino)