Gulfstream LNG project receives export approval

Gulfstream LNG, a mid-sized greenfield LNG export project under development in Louisiana, U.S., has received authorization from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to export produced LNG to all existing, and any future countries that have, or will enter, free trade agreement (FTA) with the U.S.

Illustration. Source: Gulfstream LNG

This approval, for which the application was filed earlier this year, is seen as an important component of the regulatory process necessary to develop Gulfstream LNG’s project on its deepwater frontage site in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana.

Under the DOE’s order, Gulfstream LNG has received authority to export on its own behalf and as an agent for others, up to the equivalent of 237.5 Bcf/yr (650 MMcfd, approximately 4 million tonnes per annum) of domestically produced LNG. 

Gulfstream LNG also said it recently signed a term sheet with a gas transportation company with an extensive pipeline network in the surrounding area.  The preliminary agreement is intended to set forth a framework for future binding agreements for the delivery of feed gas volumes for Gulfstream LNG.

The execution of this agreement substantially de-risks the Gulfstream LNG project as the gas transportation company’s pipeline network will be able to connect to regional major trunklines radiating from diverse gas-producing basins, including the prolific Marcellus and Haynesville basins, the developer explained.

“Our DOE approval to export LNG to FTA countries and our execution of the gas supply transportation preliminary agreement are important milestones in progressing the Gulfstream LNG project,” said Vivek Chandra, CEO and Founder of Gulfstream LNG.

“As per recent precedents, we expect to receive non-FTA approval once our FERC application has progressed.  In the meantime, we are progressing with our engineering and project development efforts, as well as discussions with potential equity investors. We intend to begin our FERC permitting process as soon as the first tranche of funding is secured.”

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Gulfstream LNG encompasses a 500-acre site, which includes over 1.3 kilometres of deepwater (~15 metres) Mississippi River frontage. The leased site is exclusively available through a long-term ground lease and joint development agreement with a private company developing an intermodal container port with the Plaquemines Port, Harbor & Terminal District.

The facility will be based on using mid-scale modular liquefaction trains deployed and operating in other liquefaction projects in the region. The liquefaction trains will be driven by electrical drives using power generated from low-carbon and renewable fuels, the developer noted.

By leveraging electrical liquefaction drives, Gulfstream LNG aims to be among the greenest and lowest carbon emitting LNG producing facilities in the US Gulf region as well as globally.

The first production, anticipated in less than six years, is expected to coincide with the forecasted shortfall in global LNG supply exacerbated by recent geopolitical events and a natural decline in many legacy facilities. All commercial business models, including tolling by offtake customers and by upstream gas producers, as well as FOB sales and co-production of ammonia, will be evaluated.

The project will service domestic, regional, and international LNG markets via river barges, small ships, bunkering vessels, and large tanker exports.