Freeport LNG yet to submit Texas plant restart request to regulator -source

FILE PHOTO: Model of LNG tanker is seen in front of the U.S. flag in this illustration taken May 19, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

(Reuters) -Freeport LNG has not yet submitted a full request to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) to restart a Texas plant, a source familiar with the company’s filings said on Monday.

The lack of a full request has raised questions about the company’s ability to meet its latest restart timeline.

Freeport LNG on Friday said it was targeting a mid-December restart for its Texas export plant, which has been shut for six months after a fire, pending regulatory approval.

“Proposed remedial work activities for a safe restart of initial operations have been submitted to the relevant regulatory agencies for review and approval,” Freeport said in the release.

Operations at the second-largest LNG export facility in the United States will not commence until the plans are approved by the PHMSA.

PHMSA’s review of the repair work, called Remedial Work Plan (RWP), will take at least a month and could take longer because of the approaching U.S. holidays, one analyst said previously.

“PHMSA could still find the RWP deficient for some reason and reject all or part of it … or PHMSA may decide not to allow a restart until all repairs and inspections are fully executed,” said Rapidan Energy Group consultant Alex Munton in a note dated Nov. 9.

Federal pipeline safety regulators last week released a heavily redacted consultant’s report that blamed inadequate operating and testing procedures, human error and fatigue for the June 8 explosion.


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