Liquefaction trains brought online by Cheniere, Freeport LNG, and Elba Island LNG have helped grow U.S. export capacity by nearly 1.5 Bcf/d this summer.
Global LNG demand has been hit hard, as feedgas flows to U.S. terminals decreased from their February high of 8.6 Bcf/d by 5.3 Bcf/d, averaging 3.3 Bcf/d in July. Flows have been up in the last several weeks averaging 4.2 Bcf/d in August, an encouraging sign that a bottom may have been reached as travel restrictions and stay-at-home orders ease.
Cheniere’s Cameron LNG Train 3 was brought in-service on August 9, 2020. The train is part of the site’s phase 1 development plan, which includes three liquefaction trains with a total export capacity of approximately 1.7 Bcf/d. Cheniere has begun developing phase 2, after receiving received FERC approval to build an additional 2 trains.
Cheniere Energy also provided an updated timeline for its sixth liquefaction terminal at its Sabine Pass LNG site in Louisiana, saying that they expect the train to begin commercial operations in the 2H2022, a revision from their original estimate of 1H2023. Cheniere also plans to complete train 3 at the Corpus Christi, Texas LNG export terminal in 1H2021.
Freeport LNG brought the first LNG liquefaction train of the summer online in May. Freeport LNG Train 3 has a designed capacity of 730 MMcf/d, and will bring the site’s total export capacity to 1.99 Bcf/d.
Freeport LNG also requested a three-year extension from FERC, to build its fourth liquefaction train at the site. If approved, the train would have to be constructed by May 2026. Freeport spokeswoman Heather Brown said “Given the current market conditions resulting from COVID-19, Freeport LNG does not expect to reach FID on Train 4 this year,”, noting “we can be ready to start construction by mid-2021 if market conditions improve.”
Three additional trains for Kinder Morgan’s Elba Island LNG export terminal have come online over the last few months. The trains, while smaller than most, will increase the site’s export capacity by 80 MMcf/d. The site has one additional train that needs to be brought online, which is expected soon. The sites final train will add 40 MMcf/d of capacity, to bring the sites total to 300 MMcf/d.