LNG Journal editor
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has issued a letter to US LNG project developer Venture Global giving permission to proceed with initial mobilization and limited site preparation for the Plaquemines LNG project on the banks of the Mississippi River, about 30 miles south of New Orleans.
The FERC letter also allowed initial works on the affiliated Gator Express Pipeline project.
Plaquemines will be constructed in two phases, each phase designed with liquefaction and export capacity of 10 MTPA and a peak capacity of 12 MTPA under optimal operating conditions.
Venture Global, based in Arlington, Virginia, is developing three LNG exports projects.
Its Calcasieu Pass project, also in Louisiana, recently reached a construction landmark by having the roof raised on the first LNG storage tank.
The third project in the portfolio of Venture Global is the Delta plant with a site also on the Mississippi River.
Venture Global has said it expected a final investment decision on Plaquemines LNG in late 2020, with the plant expected to enter service by 2024.
The company's engineering, procurement and construction contractor is the US company Kiewit Corp. of Omaha, Nebraska.
Analysts noted that if Venture Global takes the FID on Plaquemines and starts building it could be the only US LNG project to go ahead in 2020. Most other developers have delayed their projects because of Covid-19 and the oil price slump, which has affected their ability to secure long-term supply deals. However, Venture Global already has many deals in place for its two most advanced developments and has focused on European-based buyers.
Venture Global signed its latest deal in February 2020 when European utility, Electricité de France SA (EDF), signed a long-term supply contract with Plaquemines LNG.
EDF entered into a 20-year Sales and Purchase Agreement for the supply of 1 million tonnes per annum from the Plaquemines facility.
Venture Global has also previously sold 2.5 MTPA of the Plaquemines plant's supply under a 20-year SPA to the Polish Oil and Gas Company.
The US development company has signed other agreements with Royal Dutch Shell, BP, Edison SpA of Italy, Galp of Portugal and Spain’s Repsol.
The Plaquemines project has already received its final authorizations from both the FERC and the US Department of Energy.
The engineering plan also includes four LNG storage tanks with a capacity of around 200,000 cubic metres and three marine loading berths, each designed to accommodate LNG carriers of 120,000 to 185,000 cubic metres capacity.
Other facilities to be built include two 710 MW electric power generation plants, with one built during each phase.
The third project in the portfolio of Venture Global, the Delta plant, could have output capacity of up to 24 MTPA and will have its own Delta Express pipeline, according to regulatory filings.
The proposed Delta and Plaquemines plants are stand-alone projects with no shared facilities and are under different development schedules.