What would be the nation's first floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) export terminal could be operational in the fourth quarter of 2018, developer Excelerate Energy LP said in conjunction with its FERC filing for the Lavaca Bay LNG Project.

"The filing represents a major milestone and further strengthens project momentum as we head towards a final approval," said Excelerate CEO Rob Bryngelson. "We continue to make strong progress on all fronts and hope to make a final investment decision within the next 12 months."

Excelerate has been granted permission to export to free trade agreement (FTA) nations by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and filed for non-FTA approval in October 2012 (see Daily GPIAug. 14, 2012). The company is fourth on the list of applications DOE is currently processing. The project was announced earlier in 2012 (see Daily GPIMay 16, 2012).

To be sited along the coast south of Point Comfort, TX, the facility would comprise a permanently moored floating liquefaction storage and offloading (FLSO) unit with 4.4 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) of production capacity and 250,000 cubic meters of LNG storage, as well as a fully integrated, onshore gas processing plant.

The facility would interconnect to the region's existing pipeline system to obtain natural gas and liquefy it onboard the unit. The project would be designed and permitted with the potential for expansion and the addition of a second FLSO over time for a total production capacity of up to 10 mtpa.

Separately, Pangea LNG (North America) Holdings LLC is also pursuing a floating LNG export project on the Texas Gulf Coast (see Daily GPIDec. 20, 2012).