New Fortress Energy Inc. (NFE) expects to finish building its first “Fast LNG” unit by March and start operations by the middle of next year offshore Mexico’s east coast, with several more units to follow shortly thereafter.


NFE has finalized a series of liquefied natural gas agreements with Mexican state electricity firm Comisión Federal de Electricidad to develop a floating LNG (FLNG) export hub offshore Altamira in Tamaulipas state.

The company said Tuesday it planned to have a total of five units completed by 2024. These include two at Altamira and one at the Lakach deepwater natural gas field off Mexico’s Veracruz state in a deal with state oil company Petróleos Mexicanos, aka Pemex.

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Under the deal with Pemex, NFE would help Pemex complete seven already-drilled wells at Lakach. About one-third of production would be sent onshore for domestic consumption in Mexico, while the remaining two-thirds would be liquefied for export to the global market.

“We really like this model, which captures proven but undeveloped and stranded gas reserves and sends a portion to shore,” CFO Christopher Guinta told analysts during NFE’s third-quarter earnings call Tuesday.

Another two would be deployed offshore Louisiana. The Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration had suspended the regulatory review in September, but it recently restarted the process.

The FLNG units would each have a liquefaction capacity of 1.4 million metric tons/year, and use the company’s proprietary Fast LNG design.

Management said the five Fast LNG units represent more than half of the world’s expected incremental LNG supply in 2023 and 2024. The company developed the technology to deploy rapidly as buyers in Asia and Europe scramble to secure supplies.

The Fast LNG vessels utilize jack-up rigs or similar floating infrastructure. The units would house smaller liquefaction trains that may be deployed faster and at lower costs, according to NFE. 

NFE intends to develop more of the units in the years ahead. The company estimates that only 70-80% of Europe’s gas needs can be met by the end of next year given the decline in Russian deliveries to the continent. 

NFE managing director Andrew Dete said during the call that the company wants to move supplies produced at its Fast LNG units to expanding regasification capacity on the continent. NFE does not need to secure customers for the super-chilled fuel as it may sell into the grid at prices tied to the Title Transfer Facility. 

NFE chartered a floating storage and regasification unit to the Eems Energy Terminal in the Netherlands, which started operations in September. Management said it expects the 282 Bcf/year terminal to increase capacity, where NFE could secure regasification slots. 

The company also remains on schedule to finish an onshore gas receiving terminal and power plant in northern Brazil and an offshore LNG terminal in southern Brazil to serve power demand by 2023. 

NFE is primarily focused on providing LNG and energy in regions that lack adequate access. Its largest customers are electricity providers.

“On a long-term basis, what we really believe is that LNG-to-power is the differentiated way to build competitive advantage,” Dete said of the market. “It provides a real service downstream, it provides competitive margins and is something that NFE has the expertise and experience to do.”

Overall, the company delivered 3 million gallons/day of LNG during the third quarter, up year/year from 1.8 million gallons/day. Revenue increased to $585 million from $224 million over the same time.

NFE reported a net loss of $170 million (minus 81 cents/share) in 3Q2022, compared with a net loss of $6 million (minus 3 cents) in the year-ago period. The 3Q2022 results were primarily related to losses on equity investments.