LNG may be taking it on the chin right now due to woefully low natural gas prices and demand destruction following COVID-19, but don’t underestimate its rebound as global economies regain their footing. While some of the nation’s larger LNG projects take a time-out to reassess the current environment vs years-long terminal buildouts with multi-billion-dollar price tags, smaller operators just might have the big advantage right now.
Okra Energy may be based in N.Y., but this small-scale LNG company is firmly entrenched in McIntosh, Ala., where it’s constructing a natural gas liquefaction facility capable of producing 100,000 gallons per day. As a comparison, large-scale facilities can output as much as 27 million MTPA or more. But Okra eschews the big builds in favor of developing modular and scalable LNG plants where no pipeline infrastructure exists. The company last year constructed a liquefaction facility in Peru—the first of its kind there—which has since produced and delivered more than 3 million gallons of containerized LNG via truck, rail, and mid-size ships.
Now, in Ala., Okra’s latest liquefaction project has gained another hungry client south of the border. Okra has announced signing a five-year, renewable export contract with Mexico’s Enestas Energy & Gas, a natural gas distributor that serves remote mining, industrial parks, transport, greenhouses, and power generation customers through “virtual” pipelines. Enestas last year built the first dual LNG and liquid ethane port terminal on Mexico’s Gulf Coast.
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