Emissions, Gas, New Projects

Bechtel, Cheniere complete second LNG train at Corpus Christi export facility

Global energy infrastructure firm Bechtel and customer Cheniere Energy announced this month the completion of the first commissioning cargo with liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Train 2 at the Corpus Christi Liquefaction (CCL) export terminal in Corpus Christi, Texas.

Through its partnership with Cheniere, Bechtel has now delivered seven LNG trains at two sites on the U.S. Gulf Coast since 2015.

“We are pleased to have achieved another key milestone, LNG First Cargo, on the Corpus Christi Liquefaction Train 2, as part of the Commissioning and Startup process. This is the result of thoughtful planning and execution, and excellent teamwork with Bechtel,” said David Craft, Cheniere’s senior vice president Engineering and Construction. “Together we will continue to work towards reaching other milestones for the Corpus Christi facility, including completion of Train 2 later this year and Train 3 in 2021.”

“The collaboration between Cheniere and Bechtel has been critical in delivering success on these projects,” said Darren Mort, Bechtel’s LNG general manager. “This milestone shows once again that our integrated, direct-hire EPC model and our philosophy of ’design it once and build it many times’ means lower cost, shorter delivery schedules, and greater certainty of outcome for our customers.”

Since 2015, Bechtel has delivered an unprecedented 15 large-scale LNG production trains for customers around the world, including eight trains in Australia. Bechtel-delivered facilities account for roughly one-third of the global LNG capacity, supplying about 61 million tonnes of LNG each year, or enough energy to power more than 85 million homes.

In March, Cheniere received federal approval to begin production at the Corpus Christi facility, a boost for efforts to transport U.S. natural gas around the world. Bechtel and Cheniere announced that Train 1 was completed then.

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.

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 scheduled to begin this summer.

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.

The impact of LNG and natural gas-fired generation on the global electricity mix will be part of the content being presented at POWERGEN International. POWERGEN will be Nov. 19-21 in New Orleans. Registration is open now.