Sempra LNG officials announced Monday that the company awarded approximately $1.2 billion in contracts to build liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal projects near Lake Charles, LA, and in Baja California, Mexico.

A contract worth $500 million was won by a consortium of Norway’s Aker Kvaerner and Tokyo’s Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries (IHI) to build the proposed $700 million Cameron LNG terminal at Hackberry, LA, south of Lake Charles, the first liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal approved for construction in the United States in more than two decades, said a spokesman for Sempra Energy, parent of Sempra LNG.

And a group comprised of Techint SA de CV of Mexico, Black & Veatch of Kansas City, MO, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries of Tokyo and Vinci Construction Grands Projects of France was awarded a contract valued at approximately $500 million to build the proposed Energia Costa Azul import terminal to be located 14 miles north of Ensenada, Mexico.

A joint venture of Costain Group PLC, an international construction and civil engineering firm headquartered in London, and China Harbour, one of China’s largest construction groups, won a construction contract for the Mexican LNG facility’s $170 million breakwater.

When completed, Sempra’s Cameron LNG and Energia Costa Azul LNG terminals will be able to process up to 2.5 Bcf/d of natural gas. Of that, the Mexican project, which is targeted for completion in 2008, will have the capacity to process and deliver 1 Bcf/d, while the Cameron LNG terminal will provide about 1.5 Bcf/d of deliverability into the Gulf Coast pipeline grid. The Cameron LNG project also has an expected in-service date of 2008.

Major construction on the Energia Costa Azul terminal is expected to start soon, the company said. But construction of the Cameron LNG facility won’t get underway until Sempra LNG finalizes its LNG supply arrangements later this year, said spokesman Art Larson. He declined to name the foreign suppliers with which Sempra Energy was negotiating.

The Cameron LNG terminal will include three LNG storage tanks each capable of holding one million barrels of LNG, or about 3.5 Bcf of natural gas. The project also includes a 35-mile, 36-inch diameter pipeline that will extend from the terminal to an interconnection with Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line in Beauregard Parish, LA. At full operation, the terminal will have a send-out capacity of 1.5 Bcf/d.

Another proposed Sempra LNG import terminal project in Port Arthur, TX, is in the permitting process, the company said. Construction on this project is slated to begin in 2006, with operations starting in 2009.

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