The first shipment of LNG has completed loading and departed the Calcasieu Pass LNG export facility in Cameron, Louisiana. The introduction of the facility, which when fully operational will have an annual capacity of 10 million tonnes, is a year ahead of the official schedule and comes at a critical time for LNG supply. Natural gas was already in high demand and with the prospect of an interruption in natural gas supplies from Russia to Europe, American suppliers should benefit from forecasts that the United States could become the largest exporter of natural gas. LNG in 2022.
After spending three weeks at the terminal, the Yiannisa newly built Greek-registered LNG carrier became the first ship to leave the terminal on the night of March 1. The 92,964 dwt vessel is chartered by JERA Global Markets, a trading subsidiary of Japanese company JERA Co. The vessel has a capacity of 170,799 cubic meters of LNG.
“This historic and proud moment for our company represents the culmination of many years of tireless effort by our team to innovate, design, build and now deliver clean, low-cost LNG to our customers,” said Mike Sabel, CEO of Venture Global LNG. , developer of the terminal. “Venture Global has successfully pioneered a new way to develop LNG projects that will result in the delivery of low-cost, abundant and affordable energy to people around the world, while driving the fuel shift from coal to natural gas.”
The project received its authorization in 2019, with the company making the final decision to proceed with the project at the end of the year. The site which encompasses over 1,000 acres has over a mile of deep water frontage and the capacity to handle two vessels at the same time. There are two 200,000 cubic meter total containment LNG storage tanks.
According to Venture Global, Calcasieu Pass now holds the record for the fastest large-scale LNG facility ever built, going from FID production to LNG production in just 29 months. It is also one of the first greenfield LNG export projects ever built in the United States.
“We are delighted to receive the first cargo from the Calcasieu Pass LNG project, which has great importance in easing the balance between LNG supply and demand in a tight global market environment,” said Kazunori Kasai, CEO of JERA Global Markets. “Based on a supply agreement with Venture Global Calcasieu Pass, JERA Global Markets is pleased to support Venture Global and receive LNG shipments from this innovative project, which provides the industry with an exciting new model for LNG liquefaction.
JERA, although not one of the initial customers for the installation, has indicated that it expects to increase its role in global LNG markets. JERA acquired a stake in another Texas LNG project at the end of 2021. The cargo loaded on board the vessel could be destined for Japan or JERA also has access to a terminal in France. Currently the vessel is offshore with its AIS signaling that it is awaiting orders. JERA probably offers the cargo, but in the past ships changed course even after starting their journeys based on market demand.
About half of Calcasieu Pass production will be sold to Chinese state-owned companies, including 1.5 MTPA for CNOOC and 3.5 MTPA for Sinopec. Venture Global moved quickly to develop its position as a low-cost supplier of US LNG from resource-rich North American natural gas basins. Venture Global is currently building or expanding 70 MTPA generating capacity in Louisiana with a total of four terminals. In December 2021, Venture Global announced plans to spend $10 billion on a new LNG export terminal which will also be located in Louisiana.