Looking to spur increased liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) on Friday announced an initiative to connect American companies to new export opportunities in emerging economies.

"Domestic trends in the gas sector are having a global impact, and we are now seeing even greater commercial opportunities for American firms to work in high growth economies," said USTDA Acting Director Thomas Hardy. "Now is the time to capitalize on this momentum and to take our cooperation to the next level."

The U.S. Gas Infrastructure Exports Initiative would offer domestic LNG companies the USTDA's expertise in marketing and networking in foreign markets, Hardy said. It would generate new LNG exports through the development of gas-related infrastructure in key LNG import countries.

USTDA has announced a call for gas-related project proposals for U.S. companies that have identified project sponsors in high growth emerging markets.

"Our goal is to work with U.S. industry and our partner countries to make sure that the next gas-fired power plant, the next LNG import facility, or the next gas pipeline will be built using American innovation and a 'made in the USA' label," Hardy said. "...I want to encourage American companies and their overseas partners to give us their best ideas for how we can connect U.S. expertise and technologies across the gas value chain in emerging economies."

USTDA said it would support a series of reverse trade missions to bring prospective overseas LNG buyers to the United States for site visits and meetings with U.S. industry. Planned visits would include delegations from Senegal, China and other partner countries, and it would target at least $250 million in export opportunities, Hardy said.

As a part of the Initiative, USTDA participated in the recent 17th U.S.-China Oil and Gas Industry Forum in China and the Latin America and Caribbean Gas Options Forum in Panama.