(Reuters) – The U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commision (FERC) approved privately-held Freeport LNG’s plan to build and operate a fourth liquefaction train at its Freeport liquefied natural gas export terminal in Texas:
* Freeport said it expects the U.S. Department of Energy to authorize Train 4 to sell LNG to non-Free Trade Agreement countries later this quarter.
* Earlier this week, KBR Inc said Freeport picked the engineering firm as the preferred bidder to build Train 4.
* Freeport has said it could make a final investment decision to build Train 4 during the second quarter with the plant expected to enter service in 2023.
* Freeport said Train 1 is on track to enter service in the third quarter followed by Train 2 in the first quarter of 2020 and Train 3 in the second quarter of 2020.
* When Freeport started building the first three trains at the $13 billion facility it projected the units would enter service between the fourth quarter of 2018 and the fourth quarter of 2019.
* McDermott International Inc is the lead contractor for the first three units at Freeport.
* Freeport has said the first cargoes from the plant would likely start in late July.
* Each train at Freeport will have the capacity to produce about 5 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) of LNG or around 0.7 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) of natural gas. One billion cubic feet is enough gas to supply about 5 million U.S. homes for a day.
* Freeport has said it has 20-year contracts to sell LNG to Japanese gas companies Osaka Gas Co Ltd and JERA – an alliance between Japanese power companies Tokyo Electric Power Co Holdings Inc and Chubu Electric Power Co Inc – from Train 1, British oil major BP Plc from Train 2 and Japanese engineering firm Toshiba Corp and South Korean energy company SK E&S from Train 3.
* Freeport also has a three-year deal to sell 0.5 MTPA of LNG to multinational commodity trading firm Trafigura Group Pte Ltd starting in July 2020.
* In addition, Freeport has said it is working on a 20-year deal to sell 2.2 MTPA of LNG to a unit of Japanese trading firm Sumitomo Corp from Train 4.
Reporting by Scott DiSavino; Editing by Marguerita Choy