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Seizing LNG Chain Opportunities

Ports are capturing opportunities all along the LNG supply chain, from liquefaction or regasification plants, to marine terminals, bulk and ISO-container cargo, bunkering operations and LNG fueling stations.

By Lori Musser

Seaports are hopping on the LNG bandwagon. Welcoming liquefaction or regasification plants, marine terminals, bulk and ISO-container cargo, bunkering operations and LNG fueling stations, ports are capturing opportunities all along the LNG supply chain.

A broad approach to targeting LNG business has not been the norm for ports in the Americas, who have typically addressed LNG opportunities in a more ad hoc, tenant-driven fashion, but that is changing. The comparative appeal of LNG as a clean fuel, clean cargo and clean tenant provides good rationale for delving deeper into the LNG chain.

Five LNG ‘Trains’ at Cheniere Corpus Christi

Jarl Pedersen is chief commercial officer with the Port of Corpus Christi Authority. He anticipates the onset of robust LNG-related business.

There is one LNG plant already producing near the port, running LNG exports by truck into Mexico, but the big news is the Cheniere Energy project called Corpus Christi Liquefaction, LLC. This will be an LNG export terminal at an existing site, on the northeast side of Corpus Christi Bay, previously permitted as a regasification terminal. The new liquefaction project is being designed for five facilities (called trains) with expected annual production capacity approaching 25 million tons.

In addition to processing natural gas into LNG, the plant will procure natural gas for feedstock, making it one of the largest buyers of natural gas in the U.S.

According to Pedersen, product from Trains 1 and 2 could be exported as early as fourth quarter 2018. He said, “We are already the biggest exporter of crude oil in U.S. This would help fulfill the port’s goal of being the Energy Port of the Americas. And adding LNG is just another way to help the U.S. become more energy secure in the future.”

To begin, product will fill several LNG carriers weekly, with destinations likely to include Latin America, but with clear potential for global movements.

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