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Venture Global envisions doubling capacity of US LNG export business


Company cites customer demand for spurring expansion talk

No new commercial deals immediately announced

Houston — Venture Global LNG is interested in doubling the capacity of its US export business, from the current 30 million mt/year across two planned Louisiana terminals, to 60 million mt/year, the company said Thursday.

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The company said in a statement that customer demand is behind its expansion considerations, though it did not announce any new commercial agreements, nor did two spokeswomen immediately respond to questions about whether the company envisions expanding at its existing sites or developing a third one.

Venture Global has been the most successful among the second wave US LNG export project developers in signing traditional long-term take-or-pay offtake contracts for supply from its facilities. It has received federal approvals to build its Calcasieu Pass terminal in Cameron Parish, while it is still waiting for similar approval for its proposed facility south of New Orleans in Plaquemines Parish. It has not formally announced final investment decisions for either, though internally it did take FID for Calcasieu Pass, and it reiterated in its statement on the expansion that it expects to begin construction on the Plaquemines facility later this year.

"We are pleased to announce this expansion to meet additional customer demand," co-CEOs Robert Pender and Michael Sabel said in the statement. "We believe our model of mid-scale modular liquefaction is the future of low-cost LNG production."

As part of expanding the scope of its liquefaction goals, the company said it has increased the size of its 2016 process equipment supply agreement with GE's Baker Hughes. The agreement provides for the guaranteed supply of modular liquefaction trains plus power generation and electrical distribution equipment that will be standardized across its facilities, Venture Global said.

On the sidelines of the CERAWeek by IHS Markit conference in Houston on Wednesday, Pender said in a brief interview that there was plenty of capital backing the Calcasieu Pass project and that the company had internally taken FID "a long time ago."

Asked if that meant the project will definitely be built, he said, "Oh, yeah."

In a separate interview, Chief Commercial Officer Thomas Earl would not discuss the pricing of the liquefaction fee Venture Global is charging customers, but he indicated it has been highly competitive.

-- Harry Weber,

-- Edited by Derek Sands,

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