ARKANSAS, Oct 27 (Future Headlines)- The U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has granted approval for Venture Global LNG’s revised commissioning plan for the Calcasieu Pass facility, enabling the start-up of three processing trains while addressing issues with faulty power equipment. The decision aligns with Venture Global LNG’s argument that they cannot initiate full commercial operations due to reliability issues related to the facility’s power systems.
Venture Global LNG sought modifications to its commissioning plan, aiming to decouple the newer liquefaction trains from the faulty power and other sections of the Calcasieu Pass facility. The initial commissioning plan was divided into three phases, with the third phase involving the start-up of liquefaction trains 7-9, pre-treatment systems, and power generation.
The FERC’s decision allows the Calcasieu Pass facility to operate at or above its authorized nameplate capacity and close to its maximum capacity despite ongoing issues like heat recovery steam generator tube leaks. This means the facility can be operational for commercial purposes while commissioning efforts continue on other aspects of the plant.
Venture Global LNG is currently embroiled in a contract arbitration dispute with its foundational customers, including Shell, BP, Edison, and Repsol. These customers are seeking to enforce cargo deliveries or impose financial penalties on the company, arguing that the facility is ready for commercial operation.
The Calcasieu Pass facility initiated gas processing in March 2022 and claims to have delivered over 200 cargoes up to September. However, the company has classified these deliveries as “pre-commissioning cargoes” and has not supplied contract customers, citing incomplete commissioning.
Shell, one of the foundational customers, expressed satisfaction with the FERC’s decision, stating that it demonstrates the facility’s ability to operate without being fully commissioned. They urged Venture Global to start delivering cargo to its foundational customers, emphasizing the importance of their support in securing financing and constructing the facility.
FERC’s decision aligns with Venture Global LNG’s intentions to delay full commercial operations and carry out commissioning activities on the remaining plant components separately from the operational ones.
Venture Global LNG’s Calcasieu Pass facility has been the center of a legal dispute between the company and its foundational customers over the readiness for commercial operation, highlighting the complex nature of contract obligations and facility commissioning in the LNG industry. The FERC’s approval of the revised commissioning plan provides clarity on the facility’s current operational status and the steps required for full commissioning.
Writing by Moe Khaled; Editing by Sarah White