The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved a request from Cheniere Energy Inc. to introduce fuel gas and begin testing fuel gas systems on the second train of its Corpus Christi LNG export terminal in Texas, less than a month after the company shipped the first cargo from the first train.
Cheniere had asked FERC on Dec. 19, 2018, to allow it to start commissioning work on the systems no later than Dec. 31, 2018. FERC gave its approval Jan. 3. (FERC docket CP12-507)
"Corpus Christi train 2 is progressing on an accelerated schedule," a Cheniere spokesperson said Dec. 21, 2018. "We expect substantial completion in the second half of next year."
The work on the second train will help prepare for a major ramp-up of production for Cheniere. Construction has also begun on a third train at Corpus Christi. Each train has a natural gas liquefaction capacity of 4.5 million tonnes per annum of LNG.
The Corpus Christi terminal produced its first LNG in November 2018 and became the third large-scale LNG export facility to start up in the Lower 48, joining Cheniere's Sabine Pass terminal in Louisiana and Dominion Energy Inc.'s Cove Point terminal in Maryland. The Corpus Christi plant is the first built from the ground up instead of adapted from existing infrastructure.
A tanker carrying the first commissioning cargo from the first train at Corpus Christi departed Dec. 11, 2018.
At Sabine Pass, four 4.5-mtpa trains are already in commercial service. Cheniere is commissioning a fifth train of the same size at Sabine Pass; that train began producing LNG in late October 2018. The company is also working to commercialize a sixth train, which has been supported in recent months by supply deals with LNG buyers.
Cheniere already gave the go-ahead to heavy industrial construction company Bechtel Corp. to start early work on Sabine Pass' train 6. Cheniere said in November 2018 that it awarded Bechtel a $2.02 billion contract for construction.