US-listed New Fortress Energy has unveiled a plan to switch Mexico’s Altamira LNG import terminal into a 2.8 million tonnes per annum export plant by using liquefaction modules that were to be used for its second two floating LNG (FLNG) production units onshore.

Speaking on a results call chief financial officer Chris Guinta said the company believes the company can build the modules faster and cheaper for onshore use.

New Fortress said it recently signed a non-binding letter of intent with Mexican state-owned electricity company Comision Federal de Electricidad (CFE) to explore the installation of these two floaters at what it described as the “underutilised” Altamira terminal.

New Fortress chief executive Wes Edens described the Altamira terminal “a thing of beauty” in that it has two existing storage tanks, marine infrastructure, access to power with a space for the liquefaction modules.

He said it would be “unquestionably the most reliable [LNG] terminal on the US Gulf coast as it would be outside the main hurricane areas”.

Guinta said the liquefaction modules procured for its FLNG 2 and FLNG3 units are now being built and are expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2024.

He said the company hopes to have finalised an agreement with CFE in weeks.

Guinta said New Fortress’ first FLNG unit — the company is converting three jack-up rigs into this initial floater at a US-based Kiewit shipyard — is 90% complete with a full commissioning team at the yard and operational staff working from the rigs.

He said the structures are due to leave the yard in the next 30 to 60 days for an offshore Altamira location in Mexico.

New Fortress said it anticipates the first gas from the $1bn-priced unit in July with commercial operation to follow in August.

The company also updated on its delayed two floating storage and regasification unit-based terminals in Brazil.

It said the Barcarena terminal is completed and the first gas is due to be delivered from it to customer Norsk Hydro in late 2023. The company also expects to kick off operations at its Santa Catarina terminal later this year.

New Fortress said it expects to finalise the permitting and construction contracts for a 600MW power plant in Ireland which would be supplied from its long-planned Shannon LNG terminal in Ballylongford from 2026.

New Fortress’ first quarter 2023 net income crumbled to $151.6m down from $241.2m in the same period a year ago.

But revenue climbed to $579.1m from $505.1m in the first three months of 2022.

The company guided on a net income of $1.2bn for 2023.

New Fortress also updated on its hydrogen production business Zero Parks detailing that construction of its first plant at Beaumont in Texas is on schedule.

Edens revealed that New Fortress has filed registration documentation in the US to spin Zero Parks off into a separate business. He anticipates this process will be completed by mid-year.

He said the company is geo-locating its planned hydrogen plants next to big users.

“The impact of green hydrogen on the world is likely to be significant. We think it is one of the principal ways to decarbonise some of these industrial activities and we intend to be a big part of that.”