GE Oil & Gas has signed a $610 million agreement with Corpus Christi Liquefaction, LLC, a subsidiary of Cheniere Energy, Inc. to provide spare parts and planned inspections, maintenance services and round-the-clock technical support for the gas turbines and refrigerant compressors on the first two LNG trains currently under construction at the Cheniere’s LNG export facility in Corpus Christi, Texas. Each train will have six gas turbines and is expected to have nominal capacity to produce up to approximately 4.5 million metric tons per annum (mtpa) of LNG. The contract – the second for both companies – serves as a model for large infrastructure projects in terms of efficiency, cost-savings and ensuring facility reliability.
Construction of GE equipment on site will start in January 2017 with LNG production scheduled to commence as early as 2018. The new contract, which covers 20+ years, incorporates all major maintenance for the LNG trains, including parts, repairs and field services.
In addition, GE will also provide a resident technical support team at Cheniere’s facility to assist with all aspects of maintenance of GE equipment and includes a remote monitoring system for the equipment. Cheniere will benefit from access to OEM parts and repairs plus technical expertise of GE field engineers and technology – all of which will ensure optimal reliability.
“We are continuing to see substantial investment in US energy infrastructure,” said Rafael Santana, CEO & president, Turbomachinery Solutions, GE Oil & Gas. “This announcement further underlines GE’s commitment to natural gas and the ability of GE Oil & Gas to provide premium equipment as well as services. We are building on our tradition of maintenance with the power of big data and analytics and connected equipment, combining these elements to enable optimized plant performance and improved availability and reliability. Thanks to these capabilities, we have been able to build a strong presence in the LNG sector by leveraging our technology and services for many of the world's leading LNG projects. Using GE’s specialist monitoring and maintenance expertise, we will also optimize the availability and reliability of Corpus Christi plant”.
GE Oil & Gas and Cheniere announced a similar $1BN maintenance agreement for the Sabine Pass facility in December 2014. Cheniere is developing the liquefaction project in Corpus Christi with anticipated aggregate capacity of up to 22.5 million tons per annum over five trains.
IEA forecasts global demand to reaccelerate and grow at an average rate of two percent through 2020, with an average annual increase of 10% projected throughout the rest of the decade. Demand for European LNG imports are projected to roughly double in that same time period.
“North America will become a significant LNG supplier to global markets and our facilities will represent a substantial portion of these LNG exports,” said Keith Teague, Executive Vice President, Asset Group with Cheniere. “GE’s ability to maintain and service our equipment at the Corpus Christi LNG terminal provides assurance that we will be a reliable, low-cost supplier of LNG for our customers. This agreement with GE contracts a significant portion of the estimated maintenance service requirements at Corpus Christi, similar to what we achieved at Sabine Pass. As we continue to expand markets for LNG, GE’s support at both the Corpus Christi and Sabine Pass LNG terminals will be instrumental.”