Cheniere plans to expand its liquefied natural gas empire, adding two additional production units in Corpus Christi and partnering with a smaller Houston-based LNG company to build new projects in Louisiana.
The company on Wednesday announced that it has filed paperwork seeking federal approval to build two more liquefaction trains near its proposed LNG export terminal in Corpus Christi, where construction has started on two of the five proposed trains.
Cheniere also agreed to team up with Parallax Enterprises to complete two mid-scale projects already under development in places close to pipelines and deep water access. The company unveiled Live Oak LNG on the Calcasieu Ship Channel in southwestern Louisiana earlier this year and in April, acquired Louisiana LNG on the Mississippi River south of New Orleans.
The projects each have two trains with a capacity to produce 2.5 million metric tons of the supercooled gas per year.
Altogether, the expansions would boost Cheniere’s LNG production capacity to 60 million metric tons per year within a decade.
In a statement, CEO Charif Souki said Cheniere expects to fund the developments with internally generated cash flows, which allows the company to remain a low-cost supplier while giving Cheniere more flexibility in making deals to sell LNG to global buyers.
If the plans are approved by the federal government, Cheniere expects to start construction on the projects by 2017 and could begin producing the first batches of LNG as early as four years later, the company said in a statement.
The projects are the latest for the company that has dominated the LNG space since advances in hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling unleashed a wave of cheap natural gas, giving U.S. companies a competitve edge over their foreign counterparts in producing LNG.
With the construction of its Sabine Pass terminal slated to finish later this year, Cheniere remains on track to open the first large-scale plant to ship LNG from the continental United States.
Parallax’s business strategy has been focused on smaller LNG projects tailored to customer’s invidual needs.
“We have an innovative, efficient and cost effective way to safely produce what customers want – smaller amounts of LNG that they can purchase incrementally,” Martin J. Houston, founding partner and chairman, said in a statement.