Venture Global LNG's Calcasieu Pass LNG export terminal received federal authorization to start full site preparation for the Louisiana facility.
The March 19 approval from Federal Energy Regulatory Commission staff showed the project is moving to the construction phase, as Venture Global executives said it would following the agency's Feb. 21 decision to authorize the terminal.
Calcasieu Pass has yet to receive a formal final investment decision, but the project is considered one of the front-runners among second-generation U.S. LNG export projects that developers seek to commercially sanction in 2019. Venture Global executives say Calcasieu Pass is fully contracted after the company lined up a series of long-term supply deals.
Calcasieu Pass, which would be capable of producing 10 million tonnes per annum of LNG, has all of its major federal regulatory permits. FERC's authorization of Calcasieu Pass marked the first time in more than two years the agency had signed off on a new LNG export terminal. The U.S. Department of Energy later authorized LNG exports from the facility.
FERC's decision to approve Calcasieu Pass came after three commissioners reached a bipartisan deal to expand the agency's consideration of greenhouse gas emissions, a breakthrough that could see the commission advance additional LNG export projects on time. (FERC dockets CP15-550, CP15-551)