Energy Transfer files application for new Lake Charles LNG export authorization

Texas-based Energy Transfer has filed an application with the US DOE for a new export authorization for the company’s proposed Lake Charles LNG export facility in Louisiana.

In April this year, the department declined Lake Charles LNG’s request to extend the deadline to start exports by December 2028.

After that, the DOE also declined a rehearing request in June.

“We have had discussions with the DOE subsequent to this decision, and we believe the best path forward with the DOE is to file an application for a new export authorization. We expect to file this application in August,” Energy Transfer’s co-CEO, Tom Long, said during the company’s recent earnings conference call.

Lake Charles Exports filed the new application with the DOE on August 18.

Energy Transfer’s unit is seeking long-term multi-contract authorization to export up to 851 Bcf per year to any country with which the US does not have a free trade agreement for a term ending December 31, 2050.

LCE said that it will not be able to start export operations using the planned liquefaction facilities by December 16, 2025, and is asking DOE to extend that period.

The firm is filing for a new export authorization that “presumably will have a condition that LCE must commence export operations using the planned liquefaction facilities within 7 years from the date of the new authorization (presumably sometime in 2031),” it said.

LCE anticipates that it may commence export operations approximately mid-2028.

Nevertheless, LCE requests that the DOE issues a 7-year start of export operations condition in order to account for any delays in the date of commencement of export operations that may occur for a project of this requested authorization on or before February 19, 2024, it said.

Deals for 11.5 mtpa, EPC contract talks

The company said it has entered into definitive long-term LNG offtake contracts for 7.9 mtpa of LNG.

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

In July, the company also entered into three non-binding HOAs related to the long-term LNG offtake from this project for an aggregate of 3.6 mtpa of LNG, Long said.

One of the deals is with Chesapeake and Gunvor, the second deal is with EQT, and the third HOA is with a Japanese customer.

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 has invested about $350 million in the LNG export project so far, according to the new application.

In addition, Energy Transfer obtained EPC bids from two contractors in May this year.

“Subsequent to receiving final EPC bids in May 2023, LCE has been negotiating an EPC contract with one of the bidding EPC contractors and expects to conclude these negotiations by the end of September 2023,” it said.

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