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Fourth Sabine Train Gets Green Light to Operate from FERC

Cheniere Energy Inc. last Thursday got FERC's approval to start operations of its fourth liquefaction train at the Sabine Pass liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facility in Cameron Parish, LA.

Approval was granted to "commence service for liquefaction and export activities from the Train 4 inside Battery Limits and Heavies Removal Unit, and to commence service of the Enclosed Ground Marine Flare," according to Rich McGuire, environmental/engineering director at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

Based on this action, FERC has determined that all of the construction and commissioning requirements for the added train at Sabine Pass have been completed satisfactorily. Cheniere now will take control of the train from its engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor, a unit of Bechtel.

FERC's McGuire noted that based on its inspectors, the fourth train areas at the LNG export terminal site have met the orders by the federal regulators earlier this year in April and August.

In July, train 4 at the Sabine Pass LNG export terminal achieved its first LNG production and produced its first commissioning cargo in August, management for the Houston-based company reported to NGI. That cargo was reported to be on track for a date of first commercial delivery (DFCD) in the first half of next year, Cheniere has indicated.

The Sabine Pass facility has three trains now operational, and the fourth train now set to begin commercial operations. A fifth train is slated for 2019 start up. In addition, all regulatory approvals have been received  to construct and operate a sixth train and the final investment decision will be made when commercial contracts and financing are in place to support construction.

Cheniere Energy Inc.’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facility in Sabine Pass, TX, recently loaded its first cargo in more than a week following shut-ins from Hurricane Harvey. The Sabine Pass terminal had not had a ship offtake gas since Aug. 24, the day before Harvey made landfall.

Cheniere CEO Jack Fusco, in an interview on Bloomberg Television, said six LNG tankers were ready to load. The one tanker loaded Wednesday was ready to go, “but currents are still high and there is debris coming down the channel.” The expectation, said Fusco, is one or two cargos may be “disrupted,” but no material impact is expected.

 Cheniere became the first U.S. LNG exporter when Sabine Pass launched its first cargo in February 2016. Dominion Energy will become the second U.S. LNG exporter later this year when its Cove Point, MD, facility ships its first cargo.

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