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    US regulator lifts stop-clock order on New Fortress project


With the review of its offshore project underway again, NFE hopes to deploy the first phases by the middle of next year. [Image credit: New Fortress Energy]

by: Dale Lunan

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US regulator lifts stop-clock order on New Fortress project

The US Marine Administrator (MARAD), in a letter sent to New Fortress Energy (NFE) on October 28 but not yet posted to the regulator’s website, has lifted a stop-clock order on NFE’s plans to develop its first floating LNG (FLNG 1) facility in the Gulf of Mexico.

MARAD suspended a multi-agency environmental review of the project in August, which involves the installation of 2.8mn mt/yr of liquefaction capacity on jack-up and fixed leg platforms offshore Louisiana, citing information gaps.


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With the stop-clock order lifted, work by MARAD and other federal agencies to review NFE’s application for a deep water port and produce a draft environmental impact statement will proceed, but the regulatory delay has pushed the commissioning date of the first phase of NFE’s plans back by about three months.

When NFE submitted its applications to MARAD and other agencies in March this year, it anticipated the first platforms could be deployed “within a year”. At its Investor Day November 2 at the Kiewit Offshore Services yard in Texas where the 1.4mn mt/yr FLNG 1 is being fabricated, it said it expects to deploy the system “in the first half of 2023.”

“We continue to execute our strategy of growing our LNG supply portfolio through the deployment of floating LNG infrastructure, enhancing energy security around the world while delivering superior returns to our shareholders,” CEO Wes Edens said.

FLNG 1 is being developed using three jack-up rigs. FLNG 2, which NFE expects to deploy in late 2023, will be installed on three fixed leg platforms.

A floating storage unit will be permanently moored alongside, providing up to 160,000 m3 of storage capacity and allowing for ship-to-ship transfer of LNG to tankers.