PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

Local News

August 17, 2012

Golden Pass LNG planning $10B project in PA

— Golden Pass LNG, a joint venture between Qatar Petroleum International and ExxonMobil in Sabine Pass, is applying for federal permits to add an estimated $10 billion in export capabilities to its facility, company leaders announced Friday morning.

The additions are projected to create approximately 9,000 jobs during the five-year construction period, with peak employment reaching 3,000 workers.

“This is huge economic news for our area,” Jefferson County Judge Jeff Branick said. “It means continued employment and prosperity. News like this is music to a county judge's ears.”

The Golden Pass LNG facility was originally built as a natural gas import terminal when demand for the product was at an all-time high. There is now an abundance of natural gas in the U.S., according project executive Bill Davis, and Golden Pass LNG is looking to take advantage of the world-wide need.

“There's been a real change in terms of natural gas availability, a revolution in the discoveries of natural gas and ways we can reach it,” Davis said. “We see natural gas demand continuing to grow around the world because of the growing economies and because natural gas has become the preferred fuel.”

If the plans are approved, the company will install liquefaction facilities, which will cool natural gas down to a liquid form, making it easier to transport. The additions will be a part of the current terminal and built on land Golden Pass LNG already owns.

The proposed expansion would allow the terminal to export approximately 15.6 million tons of liquefied natural gas a year. The facility would still retain import capabilities.

Davis said the company will look to use larger ships to export the product more effectively.

“There's a fleet which has up to 80 percent more capacity than the convention size ships,” he said. “That means higher reliability and higher cost-effectiveness.”

There is already one natural gas export facility that received federal approval in this area. The Cheniere Energy terminal on the Louisiana side of Sabine Pass is currently under construction, and is the first of its kind in the U.S.

Port Arthur Chamber of Commerce President Bill McCoy offered his support for the endeavor and said he applauds the long-term benefits the facility additions would bring.

“The beauty of long-range planning of the industry is something I wish we could put in the citizen's minds,” he said. “From concept to completion is not a drive-thru. It's a long-term process where you have to have vision down the road.”

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