Startup of Mexico Offshore 'Fast' LNG Slated for September

New Fortress Energy has installed the first of three jackup-based LNG units at the Altamira site.

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New Fortress' Pioneer III sets sail to Altamira, Mexico.
SOURCE: New Fortress Energy

New Fortress Energy (NFE) will start operations at the first of three planned jackup-based LNG plants in Altamira, Mexico, in September.

NFE and Mexico's state-owned power utility CFE are building a $1.3-billion hub in Altamira in the Gulf of Mexico to convert US and Mexican gas into LNG for export.

NFE expects to complete and install two remaining LNG rigs this month, introduce gas in September, and sell its first cargo in October. The facility will produce up to 1.4 mtpa of LNG when fully operational.

"Each of the rigs have achieved mechanical completion, and we're in the process of commissioning various systems while the remaining rigs are still in the queue at shipyard,” NFE Chief Financial Officer Christopher Guinta told investors last week.

New Fortress’ Fast FLNG 1—Pioneer III—was installed offshore Mexico in August. FLNG 2 and 3 are already under construction and all long-lead items have been procured, with expected delivery to Altamira in the first quarter of 2025.

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Source: New Fortress Energy.

A total of nine onshore and floating LNG production facilities are planned in Mexico, both on the Gulf and Pacific coasts, which will mostly process US gas. NFE also is finalizing an agreement to sell its La Paz power plant in Mexico to CFE for $180 million. The deal is slated to be completed in the first quarter of 2024.

In May, the company signed a nonbinding Letter of Intent with CFE to explore installing FLNG 2 and 3 at an underutilized existing onshore terminal in Altamira.

In June, NFE received an export permit for its Altamira Fast LNG facility from Mexico’s Ministry of Energy (SENER). Under the permit granted by SENER, the company is authorized to export up to 7.8 million metric tons through April 2028, providing capacity to support the operations of the 1.4-mtpa Fast LNG facility through the permitted period.

NFE has received authorization from the US Department of Energy to export US-sourced LNG to Mexico and other FTA countries.