Company acquires La. site for LNG plant; another gets financing

One gets financing; another buys land

A California company has purchased a Cameron Parish site to develop a $2.4 billion natural gas liquefaction facility, while a Houston firm said Friday it has obtained financing for a liquefied natural gas export terminal on the Mississippi River in Plaquemines Parish.

Southern California Telephone & Energy said Friday that one of its subsidiaries has acquired 232 acres on Monkey Island in Cameron Parish to develop a $2.4 billion natural gas liquefaction facility.

Separately, Louisiana LNG Energy LLC said Friday that it has secured funding from an affiliate of ArcLight Capital Partners LLC for its midscale LNG export terminal on a 200-acre site south of the Port of New Orleans in Plaquemines Parish.

“The ArcLight funding agreement is a significant step in advancing the LLNGE project,” said Jim Lindsay, chief executive officer of LLNGE.

The amount and details of the financing were not disclosed.

Southern California Telephone’s project would be the 12th LNG export facility proposed for Louisiana. Exporters hope to take advantage of the difference between the domestic price of natural gas and the much higher prices fetched in Europe and Asia. Critics of unlimited exports fear they could double the cost of natural gas in America, hurting consumers and derailing a manufacturing renaissance.

SCT&E’s LNG proposed facility would include four LNG production units, each capable of producing 1.1 million tons of LNG per year, said Greg Michaels, chairman and CEO of the parent company.

The Monkey Island site provides deep-water access needed to accommodate large vessels that carry LNG overseas; proximity to the Gulf of Mexico; 3,500 feet of space fronting the Calcasieu River; and 4,000 feet of frontage on the Calcasieu Pass/Cameron Loop on the northern end of the property.

The area is home to one of the biggest natural gas transportation networks in North America and adjacent to several major interstate and intrastate natural gas pipelines, Michaels said.

However, SCT&E has not applied for an export license, according to the most recent information from the U.S. Department of Energy. The export applications list was last updated on March 24.

In January, Michaels said Southern California Telephone was looking at LNG-powered generation projects in several Latin American countries. Subsidiary NEC has signed an agreement with the government of the Dominican Republic to develop a 400-megawatt natural gas-fired power plant.

LLNGE’s proposed project in Plaquemines Parish has an export capacity of 2.2 million tons per year, with deep-water access for large gas carriers. The company will use modular construction to help speed up development and is expected to be in operation in late 2017.

LLNGE has selected Chart Energy & Chemicals Inc. to immediately begin advanced engineering for the project. The plant, made up of four units, will feature Chart’s proprietary liquefaction technology with in-house design and manufacture of all critical equipment. Manufacturing space reservations have been made with Chart for LLNGE’s four units, the company said, to ensure the plant can begin operations in fourth-quarter 2017.

In February, Louisiana LNG Energy asked the federal government for permission to export 2.2 million tons of liquefied natural gas each year for the next 25 years.

LLNGE’s initial lease on the Plaquemines Parish property is good through May 31, 2016. The company has options to renew the lease, with Morgan City Land & Fur Co. of New Orleans, through 2091.

ArcLight is an energy-focused investment firm. The company has invested in coal, oil and gas producers, power generators, biofuels makers and pipeline operators. One of those companies, American Midstream, owns the Midla pipeline.

American Midstream has asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for permission to abandon the leaky pipeline, which provides natural gas to around 11,000 customers in nine parishes in the eastern part of Louisiana. The abandonment plan has drawn fire from the affected communities, as well as local, state and federal politicians. Opponents claim the pipeline’s loss would double or even quadruple consumers’ fuel bills.