New Fortress Energy Inc. (NFE) said Thursday it has filed with federal regulators to build a liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal offshore Louisiana that could be online in 2023. 

The company said it filed applications with the U.S. Coast Guard, Department of Energy and Maritime Administration to deploy its Fast LNG technology. The technology is said to be capable of exporting 2.8 million metric tons/year (mmty), or roughly 145 Bcf annually, of the super-chilled fuel. 

Last year, NFE unveiled the technology and purchased two jackup oil rigs for $30 million to outfit with smaller, modular liquefaction trains. With a capacity of 1.4 mmty each, NFE said the facilities could be deployed more easily and at a lower cost than conventional floating LNG (FLNG) technology, which uses larger trains on newbuild or converted ships.

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“This is a big step in the growth of our Fast LNG portfolio, which will include both tolling liquefaction for high credit worthy partners like Eni as well as market volumes from our merchant assets like these,” said CEO Wes Edens.

NFE has signed preliminary agreements this year with Eni SpA to deploy the technology offshore the Republic of the Congo. It also has an early agreement with government officials in Mauritania for a Fast LNG facility off the country’s coast. Fast LNG would use smaller trains mounted on shallow-water jackup rigs or similar offshore infrastructure to liquefy natural gas. They may also be paired with permanently moored floating storage platforms. 

NFE said the Gulf of Mexico facility would be 16 miles off the southeastern coast of Grand Isle, LA. It would tap U.S. gas supplies by leveraging existing infrastructure. The company issued a limited notice to proceed with the equipment to Fluor Corp., Chart Industries Inc. and Baker Hughes Co. last year. 

NFE management said Thursday assembly is underway, and the facility could begin operations next year pending regulatory approval. 

The announcement comes roughly a week after the United States pledged to send an additional 15 billion cubic meters, or roughly 529.7 Bcf of LNG, to Europe this year as the continent looks to reduce its reliance on Russian fossil fuels. The White House also committed to expediting approvals for LNG projects.

“With rapid deployment, this project can play a significant role in supporting our nation’s commitment to our European allies and their energy security as well as support our efforts to reduce emissions and energy poverty around the world,” Edens said.

NFE also operates regasification terminals and natural gas-fired power plants that it purchases LNG for in the Caribbean and South America. It has similar projects under development in Europe and Asia. In addition to tolling agreements with offtakers, it has said its Fast LNG facilities could be used to serve its portfolio as well.

Currently, there are no FLNG facilities operating offshore of the United States. Delfin Midstream has been working on a project offshore Louisiana that would include larger FLNG vessels capable of producing 3.5 mmty. That project has been delayed several times as the company secures buyers for its volumes.