Friday, June 21, 2024

NFE obtains export permit for natural gas from Altamira hub

The U.S. company New Fortress Energy (NFE) announced on Friday that it has obtained a permit to export natural gas from its Altamira hub off the coast of Tamaulipas. 

The Mexican Ministry of Energy (Sener) issued the permit, allowing NFE to export up to 7.8 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) through April 2028. The company has also received authorization from the U.S. Department of Energy to export LNG from the U.S. to Mexico. 

A rendering of the NFE platform
A rendering of the proposed modular design of the new hub, which will allow NFE to refine and export the liquid natural gas much more quickly than traditional methods. (NFE)

“This permit is the final piece to the puzzle for launching our first Fast LNG in Altamira,” said Wes Edens, NFE’s founder and CEO.  

Fast LNG” is a term coined by NFE that refers to more rapid refining and distribution of LNG. 

“Obtaining this authorization not only paves the way for operations to commence at our new LNG hub in the third quarter of this year but it also advances our efforts to expand access to cleaner, cheaper and more reliable energy to customers around the world,” Edens said. 

As part of the agreement, Mexico’s Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) will take a 10% stake in the project, with a contract lasting 15 years. The contract is estimated to be worth US $5.7 billion in revenues. 

Pemex offshore gas field in Gulf of Mexico
NFE already operates in Mexico, alongside the national petroleum company Pemex. (Pemex)

The liquefaction plant will allow Mexico to export natural gas to the European market. 

“Mexico, in association with New Fortress, will become an exporter of liquefied natural gas for the first time in history, making it available to the market and thus contributing to the energy security of the country and the world,” the CFE said in a video

The new LNG hub is part of a broader set of agreements between New Fortress and the CFE. 

NFE has committed to expanding the supply of natural gas to the CFE’s power generation plants in Baja California Sur, and it will also sell its La Paz power plant to the CFE. 

In November, NFE finalized agreements with state-owned oil company Pemex to collaborate on the Lakach deep water gas field. 

Ahead of the announcement, President López Obrador praised the authorization, noting that it will bring increased jobs and investment to the country. 

“We are about to enter into an agreement for the creation of liquefaction plants and the construction of offshore gas platforms with the company New Fortress Energy. Although a first stage has already begun in Altamira, expanding to its full capacity would mean an estimated investment of US $5.5 billion. Progress, jobs and welfare.” 

Construction of the facility is over 90% complete, and the company will begin testing in July, with the export of LNG expected to begin in August. 

With reports from Offshore Energy, Business Wire and Forbes

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