U.S.-based Freeport LNG sought permission from federal energy regulators to take more steps to return its export plant in Texas to full commercial operation.

Federal approval would allow the plant, which shut for about eight months from June 2022 to February 2023 after a fire, to supply more LNG to global markets ahead of the winter heating season when demand for natural gas soars in the northern hemisphere.

In a filing made available late Oct. 2, Freeport asked the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to authorize the steps needed to return the plant's second dock (Dock 2) to service.

Specifically, Freeport asked FERC to authorize the second phase of its restart process, which includes the “nitrogen cooldown of the Loop 2 LNG rundown piping system and the introduction of hydrocarbons to Loop 2.”

Freeport asked if FERC could respond to its request by Oct. 6.

In the first phase of its restart efforts, Freeport returned the three liquefaction trains, two LNG storage tanks (Tanks 1 and 2) and a single LNG berth (Dock 1) to service.

When operating at full power, the three liquefaction trains at Freeport LNG can turn about 2.1 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of gas into LNG.

The plant, which has had several incidents that caused liquefaction trains to trip over the past few months, has been pulling in an average of 1.9 Bcf/d of feedgas since late February, according to data from financial firm LSEG.

One billion cubic feet of gas is enough to supply about five million U.S. homes for a day.


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