Venture Global LNG Inc. tells Bloomberg it will start construction immediately on its $5 billion Calcasieu Pass liquefied natural gas export terminal in Louisiana since the top U.S. energy regulator broke a lengthy partisan deadlock to approve the project last week.
A compromise over calculating direct annual greenhouse gas emissions made Calcasieu Pass the first authorization in two years for a new LNG export facility. As Bloomberg notes, the project is one of several competing to be part of a second wave of terminals sending U.S. shale gas overseas.
With the FERC order and 20-year sales and purchase agreements in hand, “we plan to immediately commence construction activities in Louisiana in close coordination with FERC and other agencies,” Venture Global co-chief executive officers Bob Pender and Mike Sabel said in a statement.
Venture Global has 20-year contracts with Royal Dutch Shell, BP and other companies for 80% of Calcasieu Pass’s export capacity. The facility is designed to produce about 10 million tons per year, although optimal operating conditions could boost output to 12 million tons a year, according to FERC. .
A statement from the U.S. Department of Energy says the new approach for consideration of direct greenhouse gas emissions from LNG facilities will “streamline, expedite, and improve the LNG terminal application review process,” and expressed support for its use to evaluate additional LNG terminal applications pending before the commission.
“I applaud FERC on their action today to authorize the construction of another LNG export facility,” U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry said in the statement. “This past year, the U.S. became a net exporter of natural gas on an annual basis, and we are exporting U.S. LNG to 34 different countries across 5 continents. The construction of this facility and the expedition of others under this new framework will further build upon the success of American natural gas.”