Where will new workers stay? Thousands expected with Sabine Pass LNG project

Published 12:16 am Thursday, January 23, 2020

Thought is being given on how to house tens of thousands of workers that will descend on the area to work on the upcoming liquefied natural gas projects.

Jefferson County Commissioner Pct. 3 Michael “Shane” Sinegal said some individuals approached him with ideas on housing.

“They have plans to house close to 3,000 at one facility, and it may be land-based in some sort of man camp, like barges,” Sinegal said.

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Sinegal said a similar man camp exists in Hackberry, La.

Over there is Moss Lake Village for workers at Cameron LNG. A company called First Flight operated the site that, according to their website, has 1,900 beds, serves 1,500 meals daily and has 2,600 parking spaces. It is a fully contained, on-site residential city with a number of amenities.

The city has a number of hotels, but available rooms are limited and prices are going up, Sinegal said. People coming to Port Arthur to visit relatives can rent a room when needed.

Adding more hotels to the city isn’t the answer, either.

“There’s a fear that after the boon, we will be left with a bunch of empty hotels,” Sinegal said.

Jefferson County Judge Jeff Branick said the number of recreational vehicle parks in the county has dramatically increased.

One RV park on U.S. 69 just outside the Nederland city limits is planning on doubling in size. Plus, there are newer parks toward the LaBelle area and in Beaumont.

“They are popping up everywhere,” Branick said.

Traversing the 11-mile stretch of highway between Port Arthur and Sabine Pass will be a challenge. Texas 87 is the only road in and out of Sabine Pass.

Branick said buses will be used to move the workers, and it will become inconvenient for fishermen and duck hunters for a few years.

The Texas Department of Transportation is not evaluating the traffic patterns at Texas 82 and Texas 87. At this time, no project on the books address the upcoming traffic issue. Officials will, however, come back at a future date to see if a project is necessary, said Sarah Dupre, public information officer with TxDOT.

Cheniere Energy-Sabine Pass terminal, located in Cameron Parish, La., is working with lead contractor Bechtel for construction of Sabine 6. The project for Sabine 6, which is construction of the sixth LNG train, comes in at $2.6 billion and is expected to be in service in 2023.

Cheniere is touted as the second largest global producer of LNG.

Sempra LNG and partner Port Arthur LNG are working on a new facility to include two trains, which are the units to convert natural gas to liquefied natural gas, in a project totaling $8 to $9 billion. It will be located on Texas 87.