August 04 -- Firebird LNG, a Suriname-based project, will gather natural gas, much of which would otherwise be wasted through flaring by offshore oil platforms, and turn it into highly sought after (LNG). The importance of the LNG market has been highlighted recently by the reduction of Russian natural gas imports to Europe in the wake of the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
Firebird LNG is now fully funded through to Final Investment Decision, according to Walter Teter, CEO of Firebird LNG LLC. Firebird is jointly owned by Houston-based Phoenix Development Holding Company LLC and Idaho-based MAD Energy LP.
Firebird’s development site is located near Nickerie, Suriname and serves as a gas solution for platforms in the territorial waters of both Suriname and Guyana. Burgeoning oil developments off the coast of Suriname and Guyana currently lack outlets for their associated gas, something that undermines both the environment and the economic growth potential of the region, Teter explained.
George Wentz, Founder and CEO of MAD Energy, said, “The clean energy we create from otherwise wasted gas will help reduce reliance on dirty fuels such as coal and oil.”
Firebird LNG will build both an offshore natural gas transportation system and a liquefaction plant. The plant will become the centrepiece of a planned deep-water port. Locating the plant in the port will improve logistics, operations, and infrastructure utilisation, said Teter who is also CEO of Phoenix, the deep-water port developer. “As the anchor project of the deep-water port, the liquefaction plant will represent the single largest onshore industrial investment in Suriname to date,” he added.
The deep-water port will dramatically boost the economy of Suriname by expanding trade, agriculture, manufacturing, and tourism while serving the growing hydrocarbon extraction industry, Teter said. “The port will be part of a Special Economic Zone set up as a magnet to attract foreign investment, further accelerating Suriname’s economic growth and integration into global markets,” Teter explained.
The LNG plant is expected to be operational by the end of 2024. Firebird LNG will sell the majority of its output under long-term contracts, Teter said. The planned output is 4 million tpy, but there is room for expansion if demand warrants. The total gas resource in the basin is estimated at 35 trillion ft3 which is well in excess of the requirements of Firebird LNG.
In addition to LNG, the plant could be configured to produce hydrogen, primarily to meet the needs of the European market’s energy transition, explained Wentz. Europe has plans to utilise hydrogen in transportation and as a substitute for other feedstocks in petrochemical operations. “We view this as the largest energy transition project in the world today that will help move Europe from fossil fuels to clean hydrogen over time,” according to Wentz.
“With so much of the world in turmoil, the Firebird project has the advantage of being located in a country free of conflict and governed by a parliamentary democracy,” Wentz said. “We think that kind of stability will be a real asset for us and for our customers.”