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  Proposed Liquefaction facilities at Quintana Island Terminal

Proposed liquefaction facilities (Trains 1 through 3) at Quintana Island Terminal


Freeport LNG is constructing liquefaction infrastructure at the existing terminal to provide nominal export capacity of approximately 13.9 million metric tonnes per annum (mtpa) of LNG, which equates to processing approximately 2.0 Bcf/d of pipeline-quality natural gas (feed gas). The feed gas will be derived from the interconnecting intrastate pipeline systems through Freeport LNG’s existing Stratton Ridge meter station.

The gas will be pretreated near Freeport LNG’s existing metering, compression and underground storage facilities. The pretreated natural gas will then be delivered to the terminal through Freeport LNG’s existing gas pipeline. At the terminal it will be liquefied and then stored in full-containment LNG storage tanks. LNG will be exported from the terminal by LNG carriers arriving via marine transit through the Freeport Harbor Channel.

The added liquefaction capability will not preclude the terminal from operating in vaporization and send-out mode as business conditions dictate. Also, having dual liquefaction and regasification capabilities will not result in any increase in the number of ship transits since the total amount of LNG handled, either by liquefying natural gas or by vaporizing LNG, will not exceed thresholds authorized under the FERC order approving the Phase II regas project.


Liquefaction Process Description


Each of the three liquefaction trains will utilize a proprietary propane precooled mixed refrigerant process, developed by Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. (Air Products), to produce a nominal 4.64 mtpa of LNG. To prepare the feed gas for liquefaction, it will be pretreated near Stratton Ridge to remove CO2, sulfur compounds, water and mercury after which compressors will be used to increase the pressure of the natural gas for delivery to the terminal through Freeport LNG’s existing 42-inch diameter pipeline.

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APCI’s C3MR Liquefaction Process


To convert the pretreated feed gas into LNG, the gas is first cooled with propane refrigerant, after which it is stripped of natural gas liquids (NGLs) via cryogenic distillation in the scrub column. The NGLs are, in turn, stripped of light gases (mostly methane) that are recycled through the main cryogenic heat exchanger (MCHE). Following NGL removal, the primary feed gas from the scrub column is also sent to the MCHE, where it is further cooled inside tube bundles, each made up of several tube circuits, by a lower-temperature mixed refrigerant that flows outside the tubes.

As the feed gas flows up the tubes, it starts condensing by transferring heat to the liquid/vapor mixed refrigerant, which warms up and vaporizes as it flows down the outside of the tubes. The heated mixed refrigerant is then cooled by ambient air, compressed and subsequently chilled by propane refrigerant in heat exchangers, where a portion of the refrigerant condenses. After separating the vapor and liquid streams of mixed refrigerant, both streams are depressurized and admitted to the MCHE to provide cooling for the conversion of methane-rich gas into LNG. The liquid mixed refrigerant stream is depressurized through a liquid expander to increase the overall process efficiency. The high-pressure LNG exiting the MCHE is depressurized through a liquid expander and delivered to the LNG storage tank at near-ambient pressure. Once in the storage tank, the LNG can be pumped through the plant piping to the dock to be loaded onto ships for export.


Regulatory Process


Freeport LNG’s existing LNG terminal is already rigorously regulated, monitored and inspected by a wide range of government agencies. The liquefaction project required approval and authorization from a number of regulatory bodies:

  • Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)
  • Texas Commission on Environmental Quality
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
  • Other federal, state and local agencies

Freeport LNG filed a formal FERC application pursuant to Section 3 of the Natural Gas Act in August 2012 and in July 2014 received FERC authorization to site, construct and operate the liquefaction project.


An LNG export approval from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) was also required. Freeport LNG filed two DOE applications, each for 511 Bcf/year, in December 2010 and 2011, respectively. It received approval from DOE to export LNG to Free Trade Agreement (FTA) countries in February 2011 and 2012, respectively. In May 2013 Freeport LNG received a DOE authorization to export up to the equivalent of 511 Bcf/year of LNG to non-FTA countries and a second authorization to export an additional 146 Bcf/year of LNG equivalent to non-FTA countries was granted in November 2013.


Final approvals from FERC and DOE were granted to Freeport LNG in November 2014. Documentation pertaining to the liquefaction project, including regulatory applications and related materials, can be found in the following dockets:


Department of Energy (DOE)

FE Docket No. 11-161-LNG
FE Docket No.10-161-LNG
FE Docket No. 10-160-LNG
FE Docket No. 12-06-LNG

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)

FERC Docket No. CP12-29
FERC Docket No. CP12-509
FERC Docket No. CP03-75
FERC Docket No. CP05-361

Environmental Stewardship


Environmental stewardship is a hallmark of Freeport LNG’s operations and will be the center of planning and decision-making during all phases of the liquefaction project. Surveys of the facility will be conducted to identify wetlands, streams, threatened and endangered species, cultural resources, agricultural areas and special land-use designations. Best Management and other mitigation plans will be implemented to protect these sensitive areas during and after construction. Ongoing monitoring and maintenance activities will be conducted once the facilities are operational.