The U.S. Department of Energy has granted free trade agreement (FTA) liquefied natural gas (LNG) export authority to Louisiana LNG Energy LLC (LLNG), which is pursuing development of a terminal on the Mississippi River in Plaquemines Parish, LA.

Houston-based LLNG was authorized to export the liquefied equivalent of 103.4 Bcf per year (0.28 Bcf/d) for a 25-year term on its own behalf and as an agent for others to countries that have FTAs with the United States. The company has an application pending to export the same amount to non-FTA countries. The FTA and non-FTA volumes are not additive, according to the DOE order.

Exports to FTA countries are presumed to be in the public interest and are routinely approved by DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy. LLNG applied for its FTA and non-FTA authorizations separately in early and mid February.

The company’s terminal would be on the east bank of the Mississippi River, down river from the Port of New Orleans consisting of four 74.38 MMcf/d liquefaction trains with total annual capacity of 100 Bcf. A marine loading terminal and LNG truck loading facilities also are planned.

“LLNG states that it expects to enter into liquefaction tolling agreements (LTA) under which individual customers who hold title to natural gas will have the right to deliver that gas to LLNG and receive LNG in return,” the DOE order said. “According to LLNG, these contracts will be executed on a date closer to the date of first export.”

LLNG is owned and controlled by its five officers with each holding a 20% stake. The company told DOE it intends to transfer a controlling ownership interest from the five officers to ArcLight Capital Partners LLC, a Massachusetts-based private equity firm.