Tellurian secures more time to complete Driftwood LNG terminal

US LNG terminal developer Tellurian has secured more time from the US FERC to complete the construction of its Driftwood LNG project in Louisiana.

In April 2019, the FERC authorized Driftwood LNG to site, construct, and operate facilities for the liquefaction and export of natural gas in Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana.

Besides the 27 mtpa LNG terminal, the regulator also authorized Driftwood Pipeline to build a new 48-inch interstate natural gas pipeline system in Evangeline, Acadia, Jefferson Davis, and Calcasieu Parishes.

The order said that Driftwood LNG’s facilities and the pipeline must be fully completed and made available for service within seven years of the date of order.

However, Driftwood told the FERC in a filling dated October 4 that it would need an additional 36 months to complete construction of the LNG terminal and the pipeline and place the entire project in service, rendering the current inservice deadlines in the order infeasible.

FERC said in a filling dated February 15 that both Driftwood LNG and the pipeline have been granted an extension of time, until April 18, 2029.

“Because we find that Driftwood has demonstrated good cause for delay and progress in developing the projects, we will grant the requested three-year extension of time to complete construction of the Driftwood LNG terminal and Driftwood Pipeline project,” it said.

Tellurian thanked FERC commissioners in a social media post for “their diligence and the extension for Driftwood LNG”.

Up to $1.5 billion invested in Driftwood

Tellurian issued a limited notice to proceed to compatriot engineering and construction giant Bechtel in March last year.

Under the first phase, Tellurian aims to build two LNG plants near Lake Charles with an export capacity of up to 11 mtpa.

However, the company is still working to secure financing for the project.

Tellurian expects the first phase to cost about $14.5 billion with about of $6 billion equity investment.

The firm previously said it has invested up to $1.5 billion in the project up to date.

Tellurian’s commercial activities are “moving well and at pace” as the company continues to work with Bechtel on the site at its Driftwood LNG project in Louisiana, Tellurian’s co-founder and chairman, Martin Houston, recently said.

These commercial activities include SPA (sales and purchase agreement) discussions, equity discussions, and now, “some new approaches”, Houston said in his second letter to shareholders dated January 29.

In December, Tellurian appointed Houston as the chairman replacing Charif Souki, who has left the Driftwood LNG terminal developer.

Houston said in his first letter to shareholders in December that Tellurian hired a financial adviser to assist with shaping commercial structures as well as balance sheet management.

The company appointed investment banker Lazard.

Tellurian also recently said that is exploring the sale of its Haynesville upstream assets as it works on securing financing for the first phase of its Driftwood LNG project.

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