US DOE denies Lake Charles LNG’s rehearing request

The US DOE has denied a rehearing request by Energy Transfer’s Lake Charles LNG regarding its proposed LNG export facility in Louisiana.

The department said in a filling dated June 21 it has denied Lake Charles LNG’s rehearing request for the second extension of deadline to commence exports of LNG from the proposed project to non-free trade countries.

Lake Charles LNG’s existing authorizations, including its extended deadline to start non-FTA exports under both orders by December 16, 2025, remain in effect.

In addition, should Lake Charles LNG Export be unable to commence exports by December 16, 2025, “it is welcome to submit a new non-FTA application, which would be evaluated under current policies with the most recent market information,” the DOE said.

Contracts signed for about half of planned volumes

In April this year, the department declined the request to extend the deadline to start exports by December 2028.

The department said that Lake Charles LNG has not shown “good cause” for an “unprecedented” second extension.

After that, Energy Transfer’s co-CEO, Tom Long, said the firm “strongly disagrees” with the DOE decision and Lake Charles LNG filed a request for rehearing on May 22.

Lake Charles LNG said in the request it had made “substantial progress” in the commercial development of the development, as evidenced by fully-executed long-term LNG offtake contracts for 7.9 million tons of LNG per annum, about half of the FERC-approved LNG production capacity of the facility.

The firm also said it is in “active discussions” with customers related to the remaining capacity.

Also, Energy Transfer said that it obtained EPC bids from two contractors in May this year.

Energy Transfer announced six SPAs during last year and the customers include China GasGunvorENNSK Gas, and Shell.

The company’s Lake Charles LNG project seeks to convert the company’s existing regasification terminal to an LNG export facility.

It has a proposed liquefaction capacity of 16.45 mtpa and includes three trains and also modifications to the Trunkline Gas pipeline.

Energy Transfer to continue to develop the project

LNG Prime invited Energy Transfer to comment on DOE’s decision.

“We are disappointed by yesterday’s decision of the Department of Energy related to Lake Charles LNG,” a spokesperson for Energy Transfer said in an emailed statement.

“In light of the significant progress of Lake Charles LNG, we plan to continue to develop the project which may include the use of Lake Charles’ existing DOE export authorization,” the spokesperson said.

(Article updated to add a statement by Energy Transfer.)

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