U.S. engineering, procurement and construction firms Zachry Group and McDermott International announced that third train of the Freeport (Texas) liquefied natural gas (LNG) project has begun commercial operations.
McDermott and Zachry partnered with Chiyoda International Corp. on building the Freeport project. These trains will be part of a process liquefying U.S. natural gas by chilling it for safe shipping and then transport to global markets for heating and power generation.
“Congratulations to the entire team for upholding the high safety and quality standards for which we’re known,” said Mark Coscio, McDermott’s Senior Vice President for North, Central and South America. “We have previously achieved substantial completion of Trains 1 and 2, and Train 3 now brings our joint venture project to full commercial operation.”
Zachry Group, as the joint venture lead, partnered with McDermott for the Pre-FEED in 2011, followed by FEED works to support the early development stage of the project as a one-stop shop solution provider for Trains 1 and 2. Later Chiyoda joined the joint venture partnership for work related to Train 3. The project scope includes three pre-treatment trains, a liquefaction facility with three trains, a second loading berth and a 165,000-cubic-meter full containment LNG storage tank.
The Freeport LNG facility incorporates what the companies called the largest electric motor-driven refrigeration compressors in the world and, now with full commercial operations, will significantly improve North America’s energy export capabilities, the companies said.
Project developer Freeport LNG Development LP and Westbourne Capital agreed on a $1.025 billion loan last year to fund the addition of a fourth train in the near future. KBR was signed on to lead EPC duties for that new project.
The revolution in shale and directional drilling has pushed U.S. natural gas production to around 100 billion cubic feet per day, positioning the nation as an energy exporter. Several companies have built, are building or planning export and liquefaction terminals and plan to move gas for power generation to regions such as Europe, Africa and Asia.
Natural gas fuels 38 percent of the U.S. electricity generation mix, according to a recent report from the EIA. Gas is expected to surpass 40 percent of that mix this year, with several new combined cycle gas turbine plants under construction.