Gas, New Projects

Spanish, Indonesian utilities signing up for completed U.S. LNG output

A Houston liquified natural gas company has received federal approval to begin production at a Corpus Christi facility, a boost for efforts to transport U.S. natural gas around the world.

Cheniere Energy Inc. and Bechtel Oil, Gas and Chemicals Inc. announced that Train 1 was completed at the Corpus Christi liquefaction project. Commissioning is also complete and Bechtel-the engineering, procurement and construction firm leading the job-has turned over control of Train 1 to Cheniere.

Last week, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission gave its approval for Cheniere to put the first LNG production unit into service. Cheniere CEO Jack Fusco said this week that Train 1 at Corpus Christi becomes first liquefaction train in operation at a greenfield LNG facility in the lower 48 states.

“This momentous achievement was made possible by Cheniere’s professionals and our EPC partner, Bechtel, who worked diligently together to ensure a seamless transition from construction to operations,” Fusco said in a statement. “I’d like to thank the Cheniere team and Bechtel for their world class execution, which has enabled us to continue our impeccable record of bringing trains online safely, ahead of schedule, and within budget.”

Bechtel’s website called it the first greenfield (built on a new site) LNG export facility in the U.S. in about 50 years.

“The entire Bechtel team is very proud of our contribution to Cheniere’s success on the U.S. Gulf Coast, as we hand over custody of this historic first Texas LNG train,” said Brendan Bechtel, Chairman and CEO of Bechtel. “It was three years ago that we were able to support Cheniere’s entry into the LNG export market with Train 1 at the Sabine Pass Liquefaction project. With five trains now completed and operating well ahead of schedule, we are excited to continue working alongside Cheniere to deliver their next wave of trains with the reliability of outcome that Cheniere and Bechtel have become known for delivering. This program is a great example of how a one-team approach can bring world-class results, and I want to congratulate Jack and the Cheniere team for fostering this environment of collaboration and mutual success.”

Spanish electric utility Endesa and Indonesia’s PT Pertamina Persero have sale and purchase agreements (SPA) for the Corpus Christi LNG. First commercial delivery is expected by June.

Iberdrola also has signed the SPA for bridging volumes also expected to begin in June, according to the release.

Thanks in large part to the shale gas revolution happening in Texas, Louisiana, Pennsylvania and elsewhere, U.S. LNG exports quadrupled in 2017 and could be the majority of natural gas exporting by the early 2020s, according to the Energy Information Administration.

LNG export facilities are being built along the Gulf Coast to serve this need and the U.S. could become a net energy exporter by 2026, according to reports.

Earlier this year, German Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Peter Altmaier said that Europeans nations were ready to build infrastructure needed to import LNG from the U.S. Many European nations, especially in the east, now rely on Russia for natural gas.

(Rod Walton is content manager for Power Engineering and POWERGEN International. He can be reached at 918-831-9177 and [email protected]).

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Natural gas-fired generation and infrastructure are part of the key content which will be offered at POWERGEN, happening Nov. 19-21 in New Orleans.