Cameron LNG Terminal

From Global Energy Monitor
This article is part of the Global Fossil Infrastructure Tracker, a project of Global Energy Monitor.
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Cameron LNG is a liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal situated along the Calcasieu Channel in Hackberry, Louisiana. It has six trains. The first phase of the terminal, comprising three liquefaction trains, became fully operational in August 2020. A second phase expansion project has been proposed.

Location

It is located 18 miles from the Gulf of Mexico and within 35 miles of five major interstate pipelines that serve nearly two-thirds of all U.S. natural gas markets.

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Import Project Details

  • Owner: Cameron LNG
  • Parent: Sempra LNG 50.2%, Mitsui Group 16.6%, Total 16.6%, Mitsubishi Corporation 11.6%, Nippon Gas 5.0%[1]
  • Location: Hackberry, Louisiana, United States
  • Coordinates: 30.035471,-93.3383568 (approximate)
  • Capacity: 11.3 mtpa, 1.65 bcfd[2]
  • Status: Mothballed[2]
  • Type: Import
  • Start Year: 2009[2]

Note: mtpa = million tonnes per year; bcfd = billion cubic feet per day

Phase I Export Project Details, Train 1-2

  • Owner: Cameron LNG
  • Parent: Sempra LNG 50.2%, Mitsui Group 16.6%, Total 16.6%, Mitsubishi Corporation 11.6%, Nippon Gas 5.0%[1]
  • Location: Hackberry, Louisiana, United States
  • Coordinates: 30.035471,-93.3383568 (approximate)
  • Capacity: 4.5 mtpa (train 1), 4 mtpa (train 2)[3][4]
  • Status: Operating[5]
  • Type: Export
  • Trains: 2[4]
  • Start Year: 2019[4]

Note: mtpa = million tonnes per year; bcfd = billion cubic feet per day

Phase I Export Project Details, Train 3

  • Owner: Cameron LNG
  • Parent: Sempra LNG 50.2%, Mitsui Group 16.6%, Total 16.6%, Mitsubishi Corporation 11.6%, Nippon Gas 5.0%[1]
  • Location: Hackberry, Louisiana, United States
  • Coordinates: 30.035471,-93.3383568 (approximate)
  • Capacity: 4 mtpa[4]
  • Status: Operating[6]
  • Type: Export
  • Trains: 1
  • Start Year: 2020[4]
  • Financing: US$7.7 billion in debt financing across three tranches and agreed in 2014: US$2.5 billion loan from Japan Bank for International Cooperation; a US$2 billion loan from a consortium of international banks (loan insured by Nippon Export and Investment Insurance); a US$3.265 billion loan from international banks[7]

Note: mtpa = million tonnes per year; bcfd = billion cubic feet per day

Phase II Export Project Details, Trains 4-5

  • Owner: Cameron LNG
  • Parent: Sempra LNG 50.2%, Mitsui Group 16.6%, Total 16.6%, Mitsubishi Corporation 11.6%, Nippon Gas 5.0%[1]
  • Location: Hackberry, Louisiana, United States
  • Coordinates: 30.035471,-93.3383568 (approximate)
  • Capacity: 11.1 mtpa, or 5.5 mtpa per train[8]
  • Status: Proposed
  • Type: Export
  • Trains: 2
  • Start Year: 2026[9]
  • Financing: US$4 billion in debt financing is being sought, JPMorgan Chase is the financial advisor[10]

Note: mtpa = million tonnes per year; bcfd = billion cubic feet per day

Ownership

Cameron LNG is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sempra Energy (SRE), a California-based natural gas distribution and marketing company.[11] A full breakdown of ownership inlcudes Sempra LNG 50.2%, Mitsui Group 16.6%, Total 16.6%, Mitsubishi Corporation 11.6%, Nippon Gas 5.0%.[1]

Background

Construction at Cameron LNG import terminal started in August 2005 and commercial operations began in July 2008.[11]

On January 17, 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy authorized Cameron LNG to export liquefied natural gas. The permit allows Cameron to ship up to 1.7 billion cubic feet a day of LNG to countries possessing free-trade agreements with the U.S. The permit is valid for 20 years after the first export shipment.[12]

In February 2014, the DOE allowed Cameron LNG to export gas to countries that do not have a free-trade agreement with the United States.[13]

In June 2014, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill 266 to 150 that will speed up the process of liquefied natural gas exports. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Cory Gardner (R-CO), allows the Department of Energy a mere "30 days to approve LNG exports to non-Free Trade Agreement countries after an environmental review of the LNG facilities.[14]

In October 2014, Cameron LNG broke ground for construction on the terminal's new LNG export facilities.[15] Once construction is finished, Cameron will be able to import as well as export LNG.

In February 2015, Cameron LNG began the pre-filing review process with Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for the site's expansion of the company's existing "three-train liquefaction export project, which includes two additional liquefaction trains (trains No. 4 and No. 5) and one additional full containment LNG storage tank."

FERC cleared a path for final approval to expand Cameron's capacity and storage on February 2016.[16]

Tokyo Gas announced March 2016 that it has signed a heads of agreement with Mitsubishi Corporation, a subsidiary of Diamond Gas International, for the sale and purchase of 200,000 tons a year year of LNG over 20 years from the Cameron LNG. The price for the LNG will be linked to the U.S. Henry Hub natural gas price.[17]

By Fall of 2016 50% of the project's construction had been completed.[18] Phase I began commercial operations in August of 2019.[5]

Cameron LNG was expected to begin operations in 2019.[19]

In October 2019, Sempra Energy signed a memorandum of understanding with Mitsui & Co which could result in the Japanese company taking up to one-third of the available capacity from the planned second phase of the Cameron facility.[20] Approximately US$4 billion in loans is expected to be needed to help finance the second phase expansion. JPMorgan Chase is Cameron LNG's financial advisor for the expansion.[21]

In January of 2020, Sempra Energy requested a six year extension for the permits for trains 5 and 6 that were planned to expire in May of 2020. The group expects a final investment decision to happen by second quarter 2021. The expansion is expected to take nearly 5 years to complete.[9]

In March 2020 Sempra spokesperson Katherine Hill said that "far fewer" workers were actively working on the expansion of the Cameron LNG Terminal due to COVID-19 and resulting restrictions on large gatherings.[22]

In April 2020, following FERC authorisation allowing the introduction of pipeline feed gas to train 3, Sempra announced that Cameron LNG has entered the final commissioning stage for Phase 1 of the project. The company believes that train 3 will begin commercial operations on schedule in the third quarter of 2020.[23]

In August 2020, Phase 1 of the project started full commercial operations with the start-up of the third and final liquefaction train. As it announced this, Sempra was also circumspect about the prospects of Phase II of the project: "The successful development and ultimate construction of Cameron LNG Phase 2 and Sempra Energy’s other LNG export projects currently under development are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties and there can be no assurance that any of these projects will be completed.”[6]

Opposition

Environmental groups, Gulf Restoration Network, RESTORE, and Sierra Club, in 2014 filed a request for rehearing and stay of FERC’s order granting authority to Cameron LNG to construct the proposed facility. They charged that FERC’s environmental analysis failed to adequately consider the effects of increased gas production and air pollution, as well as effect on nearby wetlands.[24]

Hurricane Laura Forces Shutdown

On August 25, 2020, Sempra was forced to shut down all operations at the terminal due to Hurricane Laura hitting Louisiana with 150 mile-per-hour winds. A week later, and having found minimal flooding and "no catastrophic wind damage", the company said it had begun the process to restore the facility's operations, though no timeline was given for when production would resume.[25]

Articles and resources

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 The LNG Industry: Annual Report 2020, page 38, International Group of Liquefied Natural Gas Importers, accessed April 29, 2020
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2019 World Gas Report International Gas Union, accessed August 2019
  3. Sempra still sees 2019 startup for three Cameron LNG trains LNG World News, March 2019.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 2020 World LNG Report, page 102, International Gas Union, April 27, 2020
  5. 5.0 5.1 Laxman Pai, Cameron LNG Begins Commercial Service Marine Link, August 20, 2019.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Jessica Jaganathan, Sempra Energy says Cameron LNG plant launches full commercial operations, Reuters, Aug. 11, 2020.
  7. Cameron LNG Phase 1 IJGlobal, accessed May 2020.
  8. Sempra still sees 2019 startup for three Cameron LNG trains LNG World News, March 2019.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Kristen Mosbrucker, Cameron LNG seeking 6-year extension on proposed southwest Louisiana expansion The Advocate, January 28, 2020
  10. Cameron LNG Phase 2 IJGlobal, accessed May 2020.
  11. 11.0 11.1 "One of the First New Liquefied Natural Gas Receipt Terminals in North America," Cameron LNG: About Us, accessed April 2012.
  12. Ben Lefebvre, "Cameron LNG Receives Liquefied-Natural-Gas Export Permit," Dow Jones Newswires, January 20, 2012.
  13. Hannah Northey, "DOE approves 6th export application," E&E, February 11, 2014.
  14. "U.S. House Approves Faster LNG Exports" Brandon Baker, EcoWatch, June 26, 2014.
  15. "Cameron LNG Liquefaction Project Breaks Ground In Louisiana" PRNewswire, October 23, 2014.
  16. "Cameron LNG expansion passes Ferc test" Upstream, February 16, 2016.
  17. "Heads of agreement signed for sale and purchase of liquefied natural gas from the Cameron LNG project," Tokyo Gas, Co., Ltd, March 2, 2016.
  18. "Building for the Future: Issue 6" Cameron LNG, Fall 2016.
  19. Sempra still sees 2019 startup for three Cameron LNG trains LNG World News, March 2019.
  20. Sempra signs MoU with Mitsui for Cameron LNG 2Sempra signs MoU with Mitsui for Cameron LNG 2 IJGlobal, Oct. 29, 2019.
  21. Cameron LNG Phase II Transaction Data IJGlobal, Oct. 30, 2019.
  22. Slowdown in construction of new North American liquefaction supply expected amid outbreak, S&P Platts Global, Mar. 17, 2020
  23. Callum O'Reilly, Cameron LNG enters final commissioning stage of Train 3 Hydrocarbon Engineering, Apr.23, 2020
  24. "Environmental Groups Challenge Cameron LNG FERC Order; Cameron LNG Says Too Late" LNGLawBlog.com, Jul 24, 2014.
  25. Harry Weber, Cheniere's Sabine Pass works to resume production at US facility following storm S&P Global, Aug. 31 2020

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