New Fortress Energy has commenced operations at its liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal to import fuel for power plants in the Baja California Sur region of Mexico.
The Pichilingue LNG terminal introduces gas-fired importation into the Baja California Sur market and could displace coal-fired and oil-fired generation there. Natural gas emits only about half of the carbon dioxide of coal power, according to reports.
“The delivery of more affordable and cleaner-burning natural gas is a significant milestone for Baja California Sur,” said Wes Edens, Chairman and CEO of NFE. “Our facility will enable customers to significantly reduce emissions and costs by switching from oil-based fuels to natural gas.”
Under the terms of an agreement signed in March, New Fortress Energy will deliver natural gas to the CTG La Paz and CTG Baja California Sur power plants in Baja California Sur through the Terminal.
Additionally, NFE has nearly completed construction of its own gas-fired power plant in Baja California Sur with a capacity of approximately 135 MW that is anticipated to begin operations and the supply of power to the local grid later this quarter.
The Terminal’s truck loading operations also were designed for the supply of LNG to local hotels and industrial customers. The first industrial customers in Los Cabos are expected to begin operations with natural gas in the next two months.
The Terminal features NFE’s proprietary ISOFlex system, which allows larger LNG carrier vessels to transload LNG into ISO storage containers on offshore support vessels (“OSVs”) with a specialized manifold. These ISO storage containers can be easily offloaded at container ports and onto trucks, which enables the reduction of time, permitting requirements and capital costs for the development of NFE’s terminals.
“We are proud to have deployed the first-of-a-kind ISOFlex system at our terminal in Baja California Sur,” said Sam Abdalla, Vice President of Project Development of NFE. “This is a big achievement for NFE and will enable us to deliver critical energy infrastructure and logistics solutions much more quickly and less expensively.”
The dramatic 20-year rise in U.S. natural gas production, driven by directional drilling and hydraulic fracturing of shale plays, has elevated the nation’s industry into export activities. Terminals along the coastlines can deliver LNG—frozen to liquefy it and make it more stable for shipping—to markets for gas-fired power generation plants in Europe, Asia and other sites.