CMS Energy Corp. is capitalizing on a large supply of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the world market and is bringing two new LNG shipments to its CMS Trunkline LNG complex at Lake Charles, LA, in September. They are being delivered by CMS Marketing, Services and Trading, and by Duke Energy Corp.

The Lake Charles complex has received 13 tanker shipments in 1999 and has firm commitments for nine more, including three this month. CMS Trunkline expects a total of up to 25 LNG shipments by year-end. Each tanker contains about 2.7 Bcf.

Business at the facility has increased over previous years. The Lake Charles complex handled 12 shipments in 1997 and 17 in 1998. During a 30-day period over July and August, the Lake Charles complex will handle six shipments, including the first spot cargo from Malaysia into the United States. In September, CMS Trunkline’s LNG complex will handle four shipments, including cargoes from Algeria and Qatar.

“The global supply of LNG is high and we’re aggressively seeking out deals that will allow us to boost the utilization of the Lake Charles facility through the rest of this year and beyond,” said Christopher A. Helms, president of the CMS Panhandle Pipe Line companies, including the LNG facility. The growing demand for natural gas in the United States, coupled with the completion of several new LNG export facilities in the next 18 months, makes this a very promising market for the next two to four years and beyond.”

The Lake Charles complex offers flexibility to suppliers and buyers with a delivery capacity of up to 700 MMcf/d. The facility can store the equivalent of 2.3 tanker LNG deliveries, or about 6.3 Bcf. With its connection to CMS Trunkline Gas’ interstate pipeline, the Lake Charles facility has access to 15 gas pipelines and the Henry Hub.

In April, CMS Marketing, Services and Trading agreed to buy 9.3 Bcf of LNG in several shipments from the North West Shelf LNG project in Australia for delivery to the CMS Trunkline LNG facility (See NGI May 3, 1999). The deal was the second major transaction CMS has made to take advantage of its purchase of Eastern Panhandle Pipeline and Trunkline Gas Co. from Duke Energy last year.

The shipments from North West Shelf’s liquefaction facilities located at Withnell Bay in the port of Dampier, Australia, wee scheduled to load in May, July, September and November, and arrive at the Lake Charles LNG facility about 30 days later.

Joe Fisher, Houston

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