Cheniere Energy Partners LP subsidiary Sabine Pass Liquefaction LLC is in talks with EDF Trading for it to contract between 0.7 and 1.5 million metric tons per year of bidirectional processing capacity at the Sabine Pass LNG terminal in Cameron Parish, LA, Cheniere said Thursday.

Since November Cheniere has announced negotiations with a handful of parties for capacity at the liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal to which it is proposing to add liquefaction capability for domestic gas export (see Daily GPI, Nov. 30, 2010). Cheniere CEO Charif Souki said the latest memorandum of understanding for capacity at the terminal brings the total amount of capacity under negotiation for potential contract to 6.2 million metric tons per year.

EDF Trading is a subsidiary of the EDF Group. Its LNG trading activity supports the company's gas pipeline business in northwestern Europe, as well as helping diversify the gas supply for EDF's gas-fired power plants. In Europe EDF Trading has regasification capacity at the Montoir (France) and Zeebrugge (Belgium) terminals.

According to Cheniere, the Sabine Pass liquefaction project would be designed and permitted for up to four modular LNG trains, each with a peak processing capacity of up to approximately 0.7 Bcf/d of gas and an average liquefaction processing capacity of approximately 3.5 million metric tons per year. The initial project phase is anticipated to include two modular trains and the capacity to process on average approximately 1.2 Bcf/d of pipeline-quality gas.

"We intend to enter into contracts for at least 0.5 Bcf/d of natural gas liquefaction capacity per train. Commencement of construction is subject to regulatory approvals and a final investment decision contingent upon Cheniere Partners obtaining satisfactory construction contracts and entering into long-term customer contracts sufficient to underpin financing of the project," Cheniere said.

Separately, LNG exports are proposed from the Freeport LNG terminal on Quintana Island in Brazoria County, TX, by Freeport LNG and Macquarie Energy (see Daily GPI, Nov. 23, 2010). Recently analysts at PIRA Energy Group factored "modest" LNG exports from North America into the firm's long-term outlook (see Daily GPI, Dec. 16, 2010).

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