Houston-based Cheniere Energy Inc., which plans a natural gas liquefaction facility in Cameron Parish, lost $198.8 million, or $2.60 per share, in 2011, compared to $76.2 million, or $1.37 per share, a year ago.

The company attributed the higher loss to increased expenses for developing the Sabine Pass LNG terminal.

It will cost an estimated $4.5 billion to $5 billion to build the first half of the facility, which will be able to export 9 million metric tons of liquefied natural gas. The estimate does not include financing costs. Cheniere plans to use a combination of debt and equity to pay for the facility.

Construction is expected to begin in the first half of this year.

Cheniere has contracts for 16 million metric tons of liquefied natural gas, roughly 89 percent of the proposed facility's total production.

The company said exports could begin as early as 2015.