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FERC: Environmental statement due in January

Staff report

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has issued a notice of schedule for the proposed Port Arthur LNG plant, under consideration hear Sabine Pass, setting Jan. 31 as the planned completion date for a final environmental impact statement for the project.

The environmental impact statement considers the siting, construction and operation of the facility, owned by San Diego-based Sempra Energy. The company had previously reported plans to begin building in 2019, under favorable conditions.

Seeking Alpha, self-described as a crowd-sourced content service for financial markets, reported this week that FERC updated schedules for environmental reviews of a dozen LNG export projects last week, including Cheniere Energy’s project in Corpus Christi and Kinder Morgan’s Gulf facility in Mississippi.

“This is an important step forward in the federal regulatory review to construct our Port Arthur liquefaction-export on Texas’ Gulf Coast,” Joseph A. Householder, Sempra CEO and president, said in an issued statement.

“Federal and state policymakers have been instrumental in supporting U.S. liquefied natural gas exports to bolster the U.S. economy.”

In the company statement, Sempra said its project is expected to include two natural gas liquefaction trains, feed gas pre-treatment facilities, storage for natural gas liquids and refrigerant, as many as three LNG storage tanks; two marine berths and associated facilities.

In April, company representatives said the project would create 3,500 on-site engineering and construction jobs and, eventually, 100 full-time jobs.

The company has proposed construction and operation of pipelines to deliver natural gas to the plant.

Plans by Sempra, which employs 20,000 people and serves more than 40 million consumers, are contingent upon securing long-term contracts for the Sabine Pass plant. The company has almost 3,000 acres in the area.

Polish Oil & Gas Co. has agreed to purchase LNG from the company.

The $8-9 billion project had been a shared effort by Sempra and Woodside, an Australian company, for more than two years, but Woodside withdrew from the project during the summer, citing challenging prospects for turning a profit.

“Sempra Energy’s new liquefaction facility will be a boon to the Port Arthur community and to the entire state of Texas,” Gov. Greg Abbott said in an issued statement. “This project will not only create thousands of jobs and benefit the local economies, but it will also be a boost to our nation’s economy.”