FERC approves expansion of Sabine Pass LNG facility in Louisiana

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on April 6 approved a joint application covering a new liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facility and supporting gas pipeline infrastructure in Louisiana.

In September 2013, Sabine Pass Liquefaction Expansion LLC, Sabine Pass Liquefaction LLC, and Sabine Pass LNG LP (collectively called Sabine Pass) and Cheniere Creole Trail Pipeline LP filed a joint application. In the application, Sabine Pass sought authorization under section 3 of the Natural Gas Act (NGA) to site, construct, and operate certain additional facilities for the liquefaction and export of domestically-produced natural gas (Liquefaction Expansion Project). Creole Trail sought a certificate of public convenience and necessity authorizing it to construct and operate interstate natural gas pipeline, compression, and related facilities in Louisiana to deliver additional domestic natural gas supplies to Sabine Pass’s LNG terminal (Creole Trail Expansion Project).

In 2004, the commission authorized Sabine Pass to site, construct, and operate an LNG terminal in Cameron Parish, Louisiana, to import, store, and vaporize foreign-source LNG. Subsequently, in 2009, the commission amended Sabine Pass’s authorization to allow the terminal facilities to export LNG that had been previously imported into the United States and stored at the Sabine Pass terminal in liquid form.

In 2012, the commission authorized Sabine Pass to site, construct, and operate facilities to liquefy domestic natural gas, store the LNG in the terminal’s storage facilities, and deliver the LNG from the storage tanks into marine vessels for export (Liquefaction Project). Specifically, the 2012 order authorized Sabine Pass to construct and operate four LNG process trains in two stages (Trains 1 and 2 in Stage 1 and Trains 3 and 4 in Stage 2) with a total LNG production capacity of 16 million tons per year (mtpa), or 2.2 Bcf per day (approximately 4 mtpa per train).

In 2013, the commission authorized Sabine Pass, among other things, to accelerate construction of Stage 2 (Trains 3 and 4) to coincide with construction of Stage 1 (Trains 1 and 2). Subsequently, in 2014, the commission also approved Sabine Pass’s request to increase the Liquefaction Project’s authorized production capacity from approximately 16 mtpa, or 2.2 Bcf per day, to approximately 20 mtpa, or 2.76 Bcf per day.

Under this just-approved application, Sabine Pass proposes to site, construct, and operate the following facilities:

  • LNG Trains 5 and 6, each capable of a peak annual production of 251.5 Bcf of LNG, with appurtenant facilities including gas treatment facilities to remove and dispose of solids, carbon dioxide, sulfur, heavy hydrocarbons, water and mercury; waste heat recovery systems; gas-fired compression for liquefaction and power generation; fire and gas detection and safety systems; control systems and electrical infrastructure;
  • New utilities and support infrastructure, including impoundments for the liquefaction trains;
  • Modifications to the existing LNG terminal facilities; and
  • New buildings for remote input/output, operator shelter and substations, compressor and analyzer shelters, and water demineralizer treatment.

The proposed construction of Trains 5 and 6 in Stage 3 would increase the Liquefaction Project’s total authorized production capacity from approximately 20 mtpa, or 2.76 Bcf per day, to approximately 29 mtpa, or 4.14 Bcf per day. Sabine Pass states that it has executed sales and purchase agreements with Total Gas & Power North America and Centrica PLC to deliver 101 Bcf and 88.3 Bcf per year of LNG, respectively. Sabine Pass states that this represents most of the anticipated LNG production from proposed Train 5. Sabine Pass states that it is negotiating for the sale of LNG from proposed Train 6. 

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.