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    US Ferc Green-Lights Four LNG Projects [UPDATE]


Approved projects represent more than 48mn mt/yr of liquefaction capacity, updates with Cheniere comments

by: Dale Lunan

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US Ferc Green-Lights Four LNG Projects [UPDATE]

The US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Ferc), at its November 21 meeting, approved four natural gas liquefaction and export projects along the Gulf Coast in Texas. Their combined capacity is 48.45mn mt/yr.

Three are along the Brownsville Ship Channel and have a combined value of $38.75bn, according to the Port of Brownsville. The fourth would add mid-scale liquefaction trains to Cheniere Energy’s existing Corpus Christi complex. That brings the number of LNG projects approved by Ferc this year to 11.

“I’m very proud of the hard work that the commission and its staff have undertaken to continue our processing of LNG applications,” Ferc chair Neil Chatterjee said in a statement. “The Commission has now completed its work on applications for 11 LNG export projects in the past nine months, helping the US expand the availability of natural gas for our global allies who need access to an efficient, affordable and environmentally friendly fuel for power generation.”

Four more export projects are pending before the commission.

The Brownsville projects that were approved, with conditions, include the 4mn mt/yr Texas LNG Brownsville facility, the 27mn mt/yr Rio Grande LNG terminal and associated Rio Bravo pipeline, and the 6mn mt/yr Annova LNG Brownsville project.

At Corpus Christi, Cheniere earned Ferc’s approval, also with conditions, for its Stage 3 project that would add seven mid-scale liquefaction trains totaling 11.45mn mt/yr of capacity, although Cheniere puts the total expected nominal production capacity of the trains at about 10mn mt/yr. The mid-scale trains will increase total nominal capacity at Corpus Christi to about 25mn mt/yr.

None of the projects have received a final investment decision (FID) from their sponsors, although Cheniere said in a statement after markets closed November 21 that Ferc approval is a “critical milestone on the path to a positive final investment decision.

Cheniere said it expects to make a positive FID on Stage 3 in 2020, subject to entering into an engineering, procurement, and construction contract, obtaining additional commercial support for the project, and securing the necessary financing arrangements.

All four LNG project sponsors have applications pending before the US Department of Energy seeking authorisation to export gas to countries without free trade agreements with the US.