Venture Global LNG has quietly pushed back the timeline for when the company would make its final investment decision on its second liquefied natural gas export terminal in Louisiana.
Venture Global LNG previously anticipated making a financial decision by the end of 2020 about whether to build an $8.5 billion LNG export terminal known as Plaquemines LNG. That has been delayed until mid-2021, according to its website. The facility would export up to 20 million tons of LNG each year.
The Arlington, Virginia-based business already signed a 20-year deal to sell 1 million tons of its LNG to French utility Électricité de France S.A. in February. The Polish Oil and Gas Co. agreed to buy 2.5 million tons of LNG from the Plaquemines terminal.
The company declined comment about its plans.
Reuters news reporters first noticed the website had changed.
The Plaquemine LNG project, which sits on a 630-acre site about 20 miles south of New Orleans, has been navigating the federal regulatory process to export LNG and securing local permits. The company anticipated it would begin early construction this year.
It's not the first time the Plaquemines project has been delayed. Back in 2016 the company anticipated it would begin construction by 2018 and start selling LNG by 2022. It expects to hire 250 workers at the terminal, and is projected to support up to 2,200 construction jobs.
Louisiana's energy sector growth is likely to be stifled even as the economy recovers from the recession triggered by the coronavirus pandemic.
Researchers at LSU have forecast that about half of the LNG export terminals projected to be built along the Gulf Coast would fall through — up from about one-third last year.
Venture Global LNG has two other LNG export terminals in the works in Louisiana, one of which is under construction in Cameron Parish and was in the path of Hurricane Laura in August and the other known as Delta LNG, for which a final investment decision has not been reached.
The company began construction in mid-2019 on it $4.5 billion Cameron Parish Calcasieu Pass LNG terminal, a 10 million ton per year facility. In 2014, the company had predicted its Cameron Parish site would already be exporting LNG by 2019. In mid-November Venture Global's contractor delivered its first two liquefaction units to the Cameron Parish site two months ahead of schedule. It had minimal damage from Hurricane Laura and is expected to begin operations in 2022.
The Delta LNG facility in Plaquemines Parish could cost another $8.5 billion and would also export about 20 million tons of LNG per year, but is not expected to be operational until 2024. The company said that the first phase of Delta LNG would begin in 2024 and second phase in 2025.
The export facilities are feeding off an abundance of natural gas being produced from U.S. shale formations around the country that are being tapped with advanced drilling technology.