Construction moving forward on Sempra’s Port Arthur LNG terminal

US engineering and construction giant Bechtel is moving forward with construction on the first phase of Sempra’s Port Arthur LNG export project in Texas worth about $13 billion.

LNG player Sempra Infrastructure, a unit of Sempra, took a final investment decision on March 20, 2023 for the first phase of its Port Arthur LNG export project.

The first phase of the project is fully subscribed with 10.5 Mtpa under binding long-term agreements.

Sempra Infrastructure previously entered into long-term agreements with each of ConocoPhillips, Ineos, Engie, RWE, and PKN Orlen.

Besides a 20-year LNG SPA for 5 million tonnes of LNG, US energy giant ConocoPhillips is a shareholder in the project with a 30 percent stake.

Last year, Sempra Infrastructure also completed the sale of a 42 percent non-controlling interest in its Port Arthur LNG Phase 1 project to compatriot private equity firm KKR.

Sempra Infrastructure has a controlling 28 percent indirect interest in Phase 1 at the project level.

Image: Port Arthur LNG

2027 and 2028

Bechtel won the EPC contract which includes building two trains with a total capacity of about 13 million tonnes per annum and two storage tanks with a capacity of 160,000 cbm.

Also, Bechtel awarded Port Arthur LNG contracts to Air ProductsElliott, and Great Lakes Dredge & Dock.

The expected commercial operation dates for Train 1 and Train 2 are 2027 and 2028, respectively.

In September 2023, Sempra Infrastructure said it is continuing construction on the first phase of its Port Arthur LNG export project under existing permits after a US court vacated the project’s emissions permit.

Sempra Infrastructure’s unit Port Arthur LNG said in a monthly status report filed with FERC that construction-related activities during January 2024 included soil stabilization activities, installation of concrete and sheet piling, foundation work, along with the inspection and maintenance of ECD’s

The firm said that delivery of concrete piles continued during the last month as well as driving in the train and tank areas.

According to Port Arthur LNG, Bechtel continued sheet piling for the marine berth and it continued foundation and grounding work for main pipe rack in ISBL train 1 and train 2.

“Bechtel continued to mobilize equipment and personnel to the project site, conduct safety, and environmental training,” Port Arthur LNG said.

The firm said that the site received about 9.3 inches of rain during January.

Because of this rainfall amount, several days of construction were temporarily halted to
allow for dewatering activities, it said.

During February, Bechtel will continue with site preparation, soil stabilization, pile delivery, and other activities, Port Arthur LNG said.

Construction moving forward on Sempra’s Port Arthur LNG terminal
Image: Port Arthur LNG

Second phase

Besides the first phase, Sempra Infrastructure is also working on the second Porth Arthur LNG phase.

In September last year, Sempra Infrastructure won approval for the US FERC for the proposed Phase 2 project, that includes the addition of two liquefaction trains capable of producing up to 13 mtpa of LNG.

The development of the proposed project could increase the total liquefaction capacity of the facility from some 13 mtpa to about 26 mtpa.

The proposed project would also include an additional LNG storage tank and marine berth and would benefit from some of the common facilities currently under construction that were previously approved as part of the Phase 1 permitting process.

Justin Bird, CEO of Sempra infrastructure, said during Sempra’s second-quarter earnings call in August last year that the company has made “significant progress” on its LNG strategy and “are very bullish on both Port Arthur Phase 2 and Cameron Phase 2 moving forward next year.”

However, the Biden administration said last month it would “temporary pause” pending decisions for LNG export terminals.

The US will pause pending decisions on exports of LNG to non-FTA countries until the Department of Energy can update the underlying analyses for authorizations.

DOE still needs to approve Sempra Infrastructure’s non-FTA application for the second phase of the Port Arthur LNG project, according to its website.

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