Kinder Morgan has left a string of broken promises about the date for which the first Elba Island (Georgia) LNG export plant “mini-train” will begin producing and shipping LNG. We’ve chronicled the journey extensively. A month ago KM announced it was once again pushing back the startup of the first mini-train to April, “because of construction delays” (see Kinder Morgan Elba Island LNG Exports Delayed – Again). Yesterday KM released their first quarter 2019 update and yes, there’s a brief section about when Elba Island will start up.
And yes, once again there seems to be date slippage. This time train 1 will be in service “by approximately May 1, 2019.” So, perhaps that’s still April. But maybe not. We’re guessing not. We’re guessing that means sometime in May.
Here’s what KM said in their update:
The first of ten liquefaction units of the nearly $2 billion Elba Liquefaction Project is expected to be placed in service by approximately May 1, 2019. The remaining nine units are expected to be placed in service sequentially, one per month thereafter. The federally approved project at the existing Southern LNG Company facility at Elba Island near Savannah, Georgia, will have a total liquefaction capacity of approximately 2.5 million tonnes per year of LNG, equivalent to approximately 350 million cubic feet per day of natural gas. The project is supported by a 20-year contract with Shell. Elba Liquefaction Company, L.L.C., a KMI joint venture with EIG Global Energy Partners as a 49 percent partner, will own the liquefaction units and other ancillary equipment. Certain other facilities associated with the project are 100 percent owned by KMI.*
The whole thing, all 10 mini-trains, was supposed to be up and running by the end of this year. If one a month is the schedule, it’s going to stretch into 2020 before full capacity is reached.
Elba Island will be the second LNG export facility along the East Coast, after Cove Point in Maryland.
As we previously noted, Elba is quite a bit smaller than Cove Point. Whereas Cove Point, which has been up and running for a year now, can receive and liquefy up to 3.5 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of natural gas, Elba Island will be able to liquefy up to 350 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d)–just 10% of Cove Point’s capacity.
But hey, the gas Elba Island will be liquefying and exporting will come from the Marcellus, so it’s all good (see Confirmed: Marcellus Gas to Feed Elba Island LNG Export Plant).
Now if we can just get that first darned train up and running…
*Kinder Morgan, Inc. (Apr 17, 2019) – Kinder Morgan Raises Dividend by 25 Percent and Announces Results for First Quarter of 2019
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