New Fortress builds on LNG presence with Irish, Mexican projects

LNG World Shipping

September 4, 2018

New Fortress Energy has added two major LNG import projects to its portfolio, as part of its drive to bring the benefits of clean-burning gas to new markets

New Fortress Energy (NFE) has agreed to buy a site at Ballylongford in Ireland’s County Kerry with the intention of constructing a new LNG receiving terminal. The proposed €500M (US$581M) facility has already been awarded the necessary planning permission and was recently designated an EU Project of Special Interest by the European Commission.

The project, termed Shannon LNG, has been under consideration for several years but the conditions have not been deemed amenable for a final investment decision on Ireland’s first LNG import terminal. 

Circumstances are now changing, however. On the one hand, the European Commission is putting pressure on EU member countries to substitute clean-burning gas for coal in power generation under its increasingly rigorous environmental programme. And on the other, the possibility of the UK’s imminent departure from the EU occurring as a “hard Brexit” is raising the prospect of higher charges for UK pipeline supplies, currently Ireland’s only source of natural gas, due to regulatory divergences.

NFE and its backers are likely to rely on public funding to cover up to half the cost of the Shannon LNG project. The scheme would be the company’s largest play in the LNG sector to date. 

To be situated on the south side of the Shannon Estuary on Ireland’s west coast, the terminal will have the capacity to process 3 mta of LNG and will feature four 200,000-m3 LNG storage tanks and a jetty able to accommodate LNG carriers of up to 266,000 m3. Shannon LNG also has planning permission to build an adjacent 500-MW gas-fired combined heat and power plant.

Down Mexico way

NFE has been increasing its commitment to bringing LNG to new markets this year. Earlier in August 2018, just two weeks before breaking the news about Shannon LNG, NFE was awarded a long-term contract by Mexico’s Port Authority of Baja California Sur (APIBCS) to develop, construct and operate an LNG import terminal at Pichilingue. 

Pichilingue is located close to La Paz near the southeastern tip of Baja California. Mexico’s southern Baja California state currently lacks any natural gas infrastructure.

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