Venture Global LNG has taken a final investment decision on its Plaquemines LNG project, giving the green light to construction of a first phase that will cost in excess of $13 billion.
The decision comes as the US liquefied natural gas industry is seeking to boost exports to Europe to address immediate and longer term supply disruption as countries there seek to reduce their dependence on Russia’s pipeline gas following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The first phase of the LNG-export facility, which will be located in Louisiana, will have a maximum capacity of 13.33 million tonnes per annum.
The project's construction will move forward as quickly as possible, Venture Global's chief executive Mike Sabel said on Wednesday.
"The project has attracted robust financial and commercial support which has enabled us to formally sanction this project at a critical moment for energy markets,” he said.
“Speed matters more than ever and Venture Global is uniquely positioned to quickly bring US LNG to the market to support global energy security and environmental progress.”
Venture Global hopes to bring the Plaquemines LNG project online in 2024.
When fully completed, it will have a capacity of 20 million tpa.
The US-based liquefied natural gas exporter said it had closed on $13.2 billion in financing for the initial phase of Plaquemines LNG and the associated Gator Express gas pipeline.
“This transaction represents the largest project financing in the world closed to date in 2022,” Venture Global said.
It is also the first LNG project in the US to announce a final investment decision since the company’s Calcasieu Pass project reached a final investment decision in August 2019. Calcasieu Pass shipped its first cargo of LNG on 1 March of this year.
Construction on the Plaquemines LNG project began in August 2021, even before financing for the project was finalised.
Venture Global said 19 different banks had contributed to the funding of the first phase of Plaquemines LNG, including at least two from China, four from Japan, two from Spain and two from Germany.
Venture Global said it has already reached agreements on 20-year contracts for 80% of maximum capacity for the project.
“Plaquemines LNG phase one customers include PGNiG, Sinopec, CNOOC, Shell and EDF; phase two customers announced to date include ExxonMobil, Petronas and New Fortress Energy," the company said. "Marketing is actively underway for the company's third facility, CP2, and two (sales and purchase agreements) with ExxonMobil and New Fortress Energy have already been executed for this project.”