* LNG tanker LNG Jurojin loads commissioning cargo
* Tanker bound for Jebel Ali, UAE - data
* Commercial operations expected later this month
By Jessica Jaganathan
SINGAPORE, Sept 4 (Reuters) - The Freeport liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in the United States has shipped its first commissioning cargo, adding to the glut of supply of the super-chilled fuel globally.
The company said in a statement late on Tuesday that it has shipped its first LNG commissioning cargo for Train 1 from its liquefaction facility located on Quintana Island in Freeport, Texas.
About 150,000 cubic metres of LNG was loaded on board the LNG tanker LNG Jurojin, which left the Freeport LNG terminal on Sept. 3, the company said.
The tanker is currently bound for Jebel Ali, in the United Arab Emirates, according to shiptracking data on Refinitiv Eikon.
“This first cargo loading ... gets us one step closer towards our start of commercial operations which is anticipated later this month,” said Michael Smith, chairman and chief executive of Freeport LNG.
The start-up of Freeport LNG is expected to add to a supply glut which has been weighing on spot LNG prices in Asia LNG-AS.
“The start-up of Freeport LNG contributes to even more supply growth at a time when the market is already oversupplied,” said Edmund Siau, an LNG analyst with FGE.
“Winter is just around the corner and seasonal demand will help to absorb this new supply, however we see a key risk posed by European gas inventories that are already above 90% full.”
Japan’s Osaka Gas Co Ltd and JERA Co, a joint venture between Tokyo Electric Power Co and Chubu Electric Power Co, will each lift half of Train 1’s total contracted capacity of about 4.64 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) once commercial production starts.
Freeport has about 20-year liquefaction tolling agreements with Osaka Gas and JERA from Train 1. Under the deal, both companies will secure LNG without destination restrictions, helping them diversify supply sources and price indices, as well as enhance procurement stability and flexibility. (Reporting by Jessica Jaganathan; editing by Christian Schmollinger)