Cameron LNG seeks approval to expand in-construction project in Louisiana

Cameron LNG LLC applied Sept. 28 at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for authorization under Section 3(a) of the Natural Gas Act (NGA) to site, construct and operate facilities necessary to provide additional natural gas processing and liquefaction capability to the Cameron LNG Terminal near Hackberry, Louisiana.

The construction and operation of these facilities is collectively referred to as the “Cameron LNG Expansion Project.” In 2003, the commission issued to Cameron LNG (formerly Hackberry LNG) authorization under Section 3 to site, construct and operate a liquefied natural gas (LNG) import facility in Cameron Parish, Louisiana (LNG Terminal). That authorization enabled Cameron LNG to construct and operate facilities necessary to receive, store, and re-gasify LNG, and send out natural gas from the LNG Terminal for delivery to domestic markets. The initial maximum send-out rate for the LNG Terminal was 1.5 Billion cubic feet (Bcf) per day.

In 2007, the commission issued another authorization that increased the LNG Terminal’s maximum send-out rate to 1.8 Bcf per day. Cameron LNG completed construction and testing of the LNG Terminal and placed it in service in July 2009. The LNG Terminal has been in continuous operation since that time. Initially, the LNG Terminal was used for the sole purpose of receiving and storing foreign-sourced LNG, and re-gasifying such LNG and sending natural gas out for delivery to domestic markets.

In 2011, the commission authorized Cameron LNG to operate the LNG Terminal for the additional purpose of exporting previously imported (i.e., foreign-sourced) LNG on behalf of its customers. The LNG Terminal has an existing interconnection with Cameron Interstate Pipeline LLC.

In June 2014 the commission authorized Cameron LNG’s “Liquefaction Project” under Section 3 of the Natural Gas Act. This authorization included natural gas processing, liquefaction and storage facilities at the LNG Terminal. These facilities included a fourth LNG storage tank and three liquefaction trains (Trains 1, 2, & 3) including the associated natural gas pre-treatment equipment, to produce up to 14.95 million metric tonnes per annum (MTPA) of LNG for export. The Liquefaction Project is currently under construction.

In this Sept. 28 application, Cameron LNG proposes to add additional storage and liquefaction facilities to the ongoing Liquefaction Project. The Expansion Project will include the following facilities:

  • Two additional liquefaction trains (Trains 4 and 5) each with a maximum LNG production capacity of 4.985 MTPA (9.97 MTPA total), and the associated natural gas pre-treatment facilities;
  • A fifth 160,000 cubic meter (m3 ) full containment LNG storage tank to increase the LNG storage capacity from 640,000 m3 to 800,000 m3;
  • One additional condensate product storage tank; and
  • Associated utilities and infrastructure related to the Expansion Project.

Developers have also been seeking Energy Dept. approvals

On Feb. 23 of this year, Cameron LNG filed an application with the Office of Fossil Energy of the Department of Energy (DOE/FE) under Section 3 of the Natural Gas Act for long term, multi-contract authorization to export by vessel from the Cameron LNG Terminal the LNG associated with this proposed Expansion Project. This application sought authorization to export up to 9.97 MTPA of LNG produced from domestic sources. Cameron LNG sought to export this LNG to any country which has or in the future develops the capacity to import LNG via ocean-going carrier and with which the United States has, or in the future enters into, a Free Trade Agreement requiring the national treatment for trade in natural gas. This application was approved on July 10, 2015.

On May 28, 2015, Cameron LNG filed an application with the DOE/FE under Section 3 of the Natural Gas Act for long term, multi-contract authorization to export by vessel from the Cameron LNG Terminal the LNG associated with this proposed Expansion Project. This application sought authorization to export up to 9.97 MTPA of LNG produced from domestic sources. Cameron LNG sought to export this LNG to any country which has or in the future develops the capacity to import LNG via ocean-going carrier and with which the United States does not have a Free Trade Agreement requiring the national treatment for trade in natural gas and with which trade is not prohibited by the US.

Commission approval and issuance of authorization of the Expansion Project will be needed by May 2016 to allow construction activities to progress sequentially and un-interrupted between the ongoing Liquefaction Project and the Expansion Project, allowing the Expansion Project facilities to be constructed and placed into service by the end of 2019.

Cameron LNG is indirectly owned by affiliates of Sempra Energy, Mitsui & Co. Ltd., Mitsubishi Corp. (through a related company jointly established with Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha), and Engie S.A., formerly GDF SUEZ S.A. In connection with the ongoing Liquefaction Project, Cameron LNG currently has three customers which are affiliates of the partners which have subscribed to 100% of the capacity of the Liquefaction Project. The partners have certain contractual preferential rights with respect to capacity in the Expansion Project. The project partners have agreed to fund certain development expenditures associated with the Expansion Project and expect that customers which would be affiliates of the partners would subscribe to 100% of the capacity of the Expansion Project.

The customers are planning LNG offtake starting in the second quarter of 2019 and by that time will have in place commercial arrangements for providing feed gas, and the transportation and sales of LNG.

Three new 2.5-MW capacity diesel engine driven stand-by generators (two operating at any one time and one spare) will provide 5 MW for emergency back-up power for the Expansion Project. They are intended to provide backup emergency power supply for critical users such as Instrument Air, Emergency Lighting, Heating, Ventilation, and Cooling (HVAC) for control systems. The stand-by generators are also sized to support pre-commissioning activities. The generators will be supplied fuel from a diesel storage tank.

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.