Export Projects Update (Aug. 2016)
LNG Allies and OEM Members
- Cameron LNG Cameron LNG received DOE authorization (July 18) to export an additional 1.41 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day (Bcfd) from its proposed liquefaction expansion project (Trains 4 & 5) to non-FTA nations. (With this order, Cameron LNG’s authorized export capacity will be 24.92 million tons per annum (mtpa) or 3.53 Bcfd.) Earlier this year (May 5), Cameron LNG received approval from FERC to site, construct and operate the proposed expansion project, which will include up to two additional liquefaction trains and a fifth LNG storage tank. The expansion project will be located next to the Cameron LNG facilities under construction in Hackberry, Louisiana. Cameron LNG is a joint venture owned by affiliates of Sempra Energy, ENGIE, Mitsui & Co., and Japan LNG Investment (a joint venture formed by affiliates of Mitsubishi Corp. and Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha). Construction of Trains 1-3 is currently underway, with operations slated to commence in 2018. According to a Sempra Energy news release (July 18), “the proposed expansion project is subject to completing the required commercial agreements, securing all necessary consents and approvals, obtaining financing, and reaching a final investment decision, among other things.”
- Cheniere Sabine Pass The first shipment of LNG from the lower 48 U.S. states to China arrived on Aug. 22, thanks to the recently expanded Panama Canal. The shipment was chartered by Royal Dutch Shell, the company confirmed to The Wall Street Journal. The cargo, from Cheniere Energy’s Sabine Pass export facility in Louisiana, was delivered to the Yantian Port on in southern China and was purchased by China National Offshore Oil Corp. as part of a long-term contract, according to S&P Global Platts. Also, in its most recent FERC progress report (Aug. 22), Cheniere stated that it expects that the first shipment from Train 2 at Sabine Pass will occur, “before the end of August.” Finally, Cheniere filed a request with FERC (Aug. 12) to “introduce fuel gas in order to begin commissioning activities for Train 3… at the earliest date possible, but no later than Aug. 19, 2016.”
- Cheniere Corpus Christi Cheniere Energy subsidiary Corpus Christi Liquefaction filed a progress report (July 22) with FERC covering construction progress at its project near Corpus Christi, Texas. Engineering has progressed to 98.4%, procurement to 50.6%, and Bechtel’s direct hire construction to 8.8%. Thus, the total project is now 36.6% complete.
- Delfin LNG The U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) released (July 11) its Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for Delfin LNG’s application to construct and operate a deepwater LNG export terminal and interconnected pipeline. The Delfin LNG export terminal would be located some 37.4 to 40.8 nautical miles off the coast of Cameron Parish, Louisiana. Delfin LNG—a subsidiary of Fairwood LNG—plans to liquefy and then export natural gas onboard up to four floating liquefaction vessels moored at the deepwater port. On Aug. 10-11, MARAD and the U.S. Coast Guard held open house meetings in Cameron, Louisiana, and Belmont, Texas, where support for the project was expressed.
Projects Under Construction
- Cove Point LNG In its second quarter earnings release (Aug. 3) Dominion Resources stated that: “The Cove Point Liquefaction project is now 67 percent complete and continues on time and on budget for a late 2017 in-service date.” The facility was built originally to receive LNG, but is being converted by Dominion to export LNG as well.
- Freeport LNG FERC issued an order (July 7) authorizing Freeport LNG to increase the authorized maximum peak daily LNG production at its liquefaction and export terminal facility under construction on Quintana Island in Brazoria County, Texas. The facility was authorized to increase production from 1.8 Bcf/day to 2.14 Bcf/day, reflecting the facilities’ actual capabilities. Freeport did not propose any new facilities or construction activities.
Projects in Formal FERC / DOE Review
- Annova LNG Annova LNG (an Exelon subsidiary) filed a formal application with FERC (July 13) to construct and operate a mid-scale liquefaction and LNG export terminal on the Brownsville Ship Channel in Cameron County, Texas. The project will include six liquefaction trains, each with a nameplate capacity of 1.0 mtpa, for an aggregate nameplate capacity of 6.0 mtpa and a maximum output at optimal operating conditions of 6.95 mtpa. The facility will receive natural gas supply from a proposed third party-owned and operated intrastate pipeline running from Kingsville to Brownsville, Texas.
- Lake Charles LNG DOE (July 29) granted Lake Charles LNG authority to export 15 mtpa (2.0 Bcf/day) of LNG over 20 years to non-FTA nations from the company’s proposed LNG export terminal in Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana. Regarding environmental issues associated with the export application, DOE adopted FERC’s Final Environmental Impact Statement for the project which concluded that construction and operation would result in adverse environmental impacts but most impacts would be reduced to less-than-significant levels. Also, FERC denied (June 30) the Sierra Club’s request for rehearing of the FERC order authorizing construction and operation of the Lake Charles LNG export terminal, rejecting the argument that FERC’s National Environmental Policy Act analysis of the project was flawed because it ignored indirect effects related to upstream natural gas production, greenhouse gas emissions, and domestic gas-to-coal switching.
Projects in FERC Pre-Filing
- Downeast LNG FERC dismissed (Aug. 17) the request by Downeast LNG to use the FERC pre-filing progress for a proposed LNG import/export project in Robbinston, Maine. The application was rejected “without prejudice,” enabling Downeast to file a new application—if it so chooses—in the future “when it is in a position to commit to actively pursuing development and authorization of its project.” FERC stated that the application had been dismissed because—with the exception of one new and one revised resource report—there had “been no other demonstrable progress on the development of the environmental information needed to prepare an eventual application to be submitted to [FERC] since at least October 2015.”
- Driftwood LNG Driftwood LNG, a subsidiary of Tellurian Investments, filed two draft resource reports with FERC (July 6) as part of the pre-filing review for the company’s proposed LNG export terminal on the west bank of the Calcasieu River near Carlyss, Louisiana. When complete, the project will include five liquefaction plants capable of producing up to 26 mtpa of LNG for export, a 96-mile pipeline, and marine facilities to accommodate three LNG carriers. Driftwood anticipates filing its formal application in March 2017 and will request that the necessary authorizations be issued no later than March 2018. The company plans to begin construction by Q2 2018 and estimates a 7-year construction schedule, with the first plant becoming operational in the fourth year.