Freeport LNG Train 3 put into commercial operation exporting U.S. natural gas

Photo courtesy Freeport LNG.

A third liquefied natural gas (LNG) liquefaction train has gone into commercial operation at the Freeport export terminal on the Texas Gulf Coast.

Engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) partners Zachry Group, Chiyoda International Corp. and McDermott International announced the beginning of commercial operations for Train 3 at Freeport. Zachry led the project from the beginning, which in total included three pre-treatment trains, the liquefaction facility, loading berths and a 165,000 cubic-meter full containment LNG storage tank.

“We are proud of all the thousands of Zachry employees who worked at the highest level of our safety and quality standards to bring this milestone project in our company’s history to full commercial operation,” said Zachry’s Construction Group President Ralph Biediger.

Export terminals such as Freeport take natural gas delivered from U.S. pipelines. It is then frozen to extreme temperatures to liquefy it for stable shipping purposes and transported to other markets for energy use such as heating or power generation.

Numerous countries have signed deals to import U.S. gas and build regasification plants along their shores. For instance, the federal Energy Information Administration has estimated that Asia is receiving close to 1.6 billion cubic feet of LNG per day from the U.S.

The Freeport LNG facility incorporates the largest electric motor-driven refrigeration compressors in the world and, now, with full commercial operation, will significantly improve North America’s energy export capabilities, according to Zachry’s news release.

Freeport LNG, Osaka Gas and JERA (formerly Chubu Electric) have been venture partners on the project since 2012. They signed Zachry and other partners in 2013.

Shell has predicted that global LNG demand could reach 700 million metric tons annually by 2040, double its current rate.

Cheniere Energy and EPC firm Bechtel recently completed another liquefaction train at their Corpus Christi, Texas export terminal project.

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