Sempra secures more time to build Port Arthur LNG export plant

US LNG firm Sempra Infrastructure, a unit of Sempra, has secured a 50-month extension from US energy regulators to build its 13.5 mtpa Port Arthur liquefaction project in Texas.

US FERC approved the Port Arthur project back in April 2019 and Sempra had to complete the LNG export terminal and associated pipelines by April 2024.

Port Arthur LNG and Port Arthur Pipeline requested the extension from FERC on July 28 saying the project was impacted by the “adverse market conditions and logistical delays caused by the Covid-19 pandemic”.

“Because we find that Port Arthur has demonstrated good cause for delay and progress in developing the projects, we will grant the requested 50-month extension of time to complete construction of the Port Arthur LNG Terminal and the Louisiana Connector Project and Texas Connector Project,” FERC said in a filling dated October 13.

Following the approval, Sempra Infrastructure now has to construct and make available for service the Port Arthur LNG terminal by June 18, 2028.

The liquefaction project would consist of two liquefaction trains each capable of producing up to 6.73 mtpa. Sempra Infrastructure also plans a similarly sized second phase of the project.

Also, the first phase of the project includes three LNG storage tanks with a capacity of 160,000 cubic meters and a marine facility consisting of two berths for LNG vessels with a capacity of up to 266,000 cbm.

Sempra Infrastructure has entered into negotiations with “multiple European companies that contemplate negotiation of long-term sale and purchase agreements for LNG from the liquefaction project,” the filling said.

Earlier this year, US energy giant ConocoPhillips signed a preliminary deal with Sempra Infrastructure to buy a 30 percent direct equity holding in the project and an LNG offtake equivalent to about 5 mtpa.

Prior to this HOA, Sempra signed deals with German energy firm RWEUK’s Ineos, and Poland’s dominant gas firm and LNG importer, PGNiG, for volumes from the first phase of the LNG project.

Including this deal with ConocoPhillips, these HOAs total 9.65 mtpa to 11.65 mtpa of LNG from the first phase of the development, according to Sempra.

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