Cameron LNG competes with Russian volumes as first cargo heads for Dunkirk in France

Monday, 10 June 2019
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The 177,000 cubic metres capacity carrier “Marvel Crane” is scheduled to arrive on June 18 at the Dunkirk LNG import terminal on the Channel Coast of France carrying the first shipment from the US Cameron export plant at Hackberry in Louisiana.

The Dunkirk LNG terminal opened in 2016 and is now owned and operated by a consortium comprising Fluxys of Belgium, operator of the Belgian Zeebrugge import terminal and insurance and banking groups from France and South Korea.

French energy major Total, a shareholder in the Cameron plant, was one of the original shareholders in Dunkirk LNG with France’s main utility Engie, though both sold their stakes in 2018.

However, Total is still a supporter of the Dunkirk facility, which also receives Russian volumes from the Yamal plant in northern Siberia, where Total is also a stakeholder.

Cameron LNG is located on the Calcasieu Ship Channel and is majority-owned by Sempra Energy, the California-based utility. The other shareholders apart from Total are Japan’s Mitsui & Co. and Japan LNG Investment, a company jointly owned by Mitsubishi Corp. and shipping company NYK Line.

The carrier “Marvel Crane” lifted the US cargo on May 31 and gave its destination as Dunkirk on June 10 in the latest shipping data received. The ship is owned by two other Cameron stakeholders, NYK Line and Mitsui.

The first phase of the Cameron project includes building the first three liquefaction Trains that will enable the export of around 12 million tonnes per annum of LNG, or about 1.7 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas.

The first Cameron cargo was loaded following a visit to the facility by US President Donald Trump.

Trump said in a speech that LNG exports have been a great jobs creator in the US and would generate billions in export revenues.

The facility is one of three LNG export plants Sempra is developing in the region, along with the Port Arthur project in Texas and the Costa Azul plant on the Pacific Coast of Mexico.

Sempra is expected to take Total on as an investor in its other export projects in Texas and Mexico at the same time as the French company is backing another LNG plant in Russia, the Novatek-led Arctic LNG II project.

The Cameron plant is the fourth US LNG export plant to begin commercial operations after Cheniere Energy’s Sabine Pass plant in Louisiana, its Corpus Christi facility in Texas and Dominion Energy’s Cove Point plant in Maryland.

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