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Sempra Seeks FERC OK to Build Port Arthur LNG Export Project

Sempra Energy late Tuesday said it has asked FERC for authorization to site, construct and operate a liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facility, Port Arthur LNG LLC, east of Houston on the Sabine-Neches Waterway.

Sempra units also are seeking authorization to build pipelines to transport gas supplies to the proposed facilities in Jefferson County.

“Our experience in developing, building and operating energy infrastructure will help us deliver a cost-competitive project to the global LNG market,” said Sempra LNG & Midstream President Octavio Simoes.

Last year U.S. Energy Dept. officials granted Port Arthur LNG the right to export gas to countries holding free trade agreements (FTA) with the United States. Units of Sempra and a U.S. arm of Australia’s Woodside Petroleum Ltd. agreed earlier this year to develop the LNG facility, which has been owned for more than a decade by Sempra.

The application to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for the proposed project includes two gas liquefaction trains capable of producing, under optimal conditions, 13.5 million metric tons/year in the aggregate (698 Bcf/year); three LNG storage tanks; natural gas liquids and refrigerant storage; feed gas pre-treatment facilities; two berths and associated marine and loading facilities.

The Sempra/Woodside project development agreement provides a framework to share costs for the development, technical design, permitting and marketing of the project, Simoes said.

If Port Arthur LNG were to move forward, it is expected to support 3,500 on-site engineering and construction jobs at the peak of construction and 1,300 jobs averaged over the four-to-five year construction period. “At least” 100 full-time jobs would be created to operate and maintain the facility on a long-term basis, according to officials.

Sempra and a separate group of partners also are building an LNG export facility along the Louisiana coast in Cameron, which is scheduled for completion in 2019. Cameron LNG also has approval to export to FTA countries.

Sempra has an indirect 50.2% ownership interest in Cameron LNG and the liquefaction project, with partners GDF Suez SA, Mitsubishi Corp. and Mitsui & Co. Ltd. each holding a 16.6% share.

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