Federal regulators green light Driftwood LNG project

(Courtesy Tellurian Inc.) An artist's rendering of the Driftwood LNG facility near Lake Charles.

The U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has authorized Tellurian Inc.’s  Driftwood LNG, a proposed 27.6 million tons per year liquefaction export facility near Lake Charles, as well as the associated Driftwood pipeline, a 96-mile proposed pipeline connecting to the facility.

The company is expected to begin construction on the 1,000-acre site and deliver its first LNG in 2023. Plans call for up to 20 trains and three marine berths.

Tellurian still needs a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permit and a Department of Energy order for non-Free Trade Agreement exports, but media reports indicate both are anticipated soon.

The company has said its final investment decision will be made following negotiations with potential investors and partners, as well as the terms it can negotiate with banks on debt financing for the project.

Tellurian wants to raise $7 billion by selling stakes in its LNG throughput to partners, another $1 billion from private equity investors and $20 billion in project debt financing.

Earlier this month, France’s Total said it would take a $500 million equity stake in Driftwood, on top of its $200 million direct stake in Tellurian, which went public two years ago.

India’s Petronet and Switzerland-based commodities trading company Vitol also have said they will invest in the Driftwood project, according to the company.