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Calcasieu Pass Gets LNG Export OK From DOE

The US Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy has issued the authorization for Venture Global's Calcasieu Pass LNG to export domestically produced LNG from its Cameron Parish, Louisiana, export facility to non-free-trade agreement (FTA) countries. Under the terms of the order, Calcasieu Pass is authorized to export up to 620 Bcf per year—or, 1.7 Bcf/D—of natural gas for a period of 25 years, to begin on the earlier of the date of first export or 7 years from the date of the requested authorization. This order follows the DOE’s previous authorizations for Venture Global to export to FTA countries, as well as the recent US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Order Granting Authorizations under Sections 3 and 7 of the Natural Gas Act to site, construct, and operate the project.

Co-CEOs Bob Pender and Mike Sabel jointly stated, “This milestone is the culmination of years of effort, and we are proud of the excellent work done by our regulatory, environmental, legal and engineering teams. We are excited that we now have all federal authorizations for our Calcasieu Pass project, and we thank the Department of Energy for their expeditious decision. We are pleased that our Calcasieu Pass buyers—Shell, BP, Edison, Galp, Repsol, and PGNiG—can now deliver our low-cost, US-produced energy worldwide, and we are proud to bring the benefit of the DOE’s decision to our country and our local communities in Louisiana. We have filed our implementation plans with FERC to commence site works imminently.”

The 930-acre, 10-mtpa project site is located in Cameron Parish, Louisiana, south of the city of Lake Charles, where the Calcasieu Ship Channel meets the Gulf of Mexico. The location is in close proximity to several major interstate natural gas pipelines and is situated in the middle of one of the most active trading areas for pipeline-quality natural gas in North America. The project site is secured under exclusive agreements for a term of up to 70 years.

Lowering LNG Cost

To offset the rising costs of LNG, Venture Global has adopted a new design model that the company believes will eventually replace traditional liquefaction plant configurations in the US. The design uses a comprehensive process solution based on mid-scale, modular, factory-fabricated liquefaction trains.

According to the company, the design is fundamentally different from more common, highly customized projects that have typically adapted plant designs used elsewhere in the world. Whereas the more traditional projects are constructed almost entirely on site, the new design enables suppliers to manufacture and assemble much of a project offsite in a factory-like setting. The controlled setting optimizes efficiency, predictability, and quality. The ability to use components that are readily available from multiple vendors lowers production complexity and leverages supplier competition to lower materials costs. Additionally, because equipment delivery times are shorter, project startup is faster than at more traditionally designed plants.

The liquefaction trains will use highly efficient, combined-cycle gas turbine power plants from BHGE that will make the LNG export facilities among the cleanest in the world. In combined-cycle power plants, the heat created in the process is recovered and used to produce additional power and create higher efficiency. Another advantage of gas-turbine-driven plants is that they have a smaller carbon footprint than those using other types of power generation.

Venture Global has executed an integrated turnkey engineering, procurement, and construction contract with Kiewit to design, engineer, construct, commission, test, and guarantee the Calcasieu Pass facility.

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