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Sempra reaches FID for Energía Costa Azul LNG terminal, gains export permit


Sempra Energy received export permit Nov. 16

Production expected by 2024

Mexico City — Sempra Energy has reached a final investment decision to proceed with its Energía Costa Azul LNG liquefaction terminal in Baja California, Mexico, the company said Nov. 17. The move came a day after Sempra received a government export permit for the project, a company spokeswoman told S&P Global Platts.

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Sempra had postponed its FID for Energía Costa Azul, or ECA, at least two times this year as it waited for the export permit, the first ever to be granted by the Mexican government. ECA became the first LNG terminal to reach FID in 2020.

The terminal, which will be operated by its two subsidiaries Sempra LNG and IEnova, will include a single-train liquefaction facility with a nameplate capacity of 3.25 million mt/year of LNG, according to a Sempra statement. The first LNG production from the first phase is anticipated in late 2024.

The Pacific Coast project is designed to link natural gas supplies from Texas and the Western US to markets in Mexico and countries across the Pacific Basin, Sempra said.

Capital expenditures for the first phase are estimated at about $2 billion. Sempra plans to fund the project through a combination of equity distributions and debt.

ECA LNG has already signed 20-year sale and purchase agreements with Mitsui and a Total SE affiliate for 2.5 million mt/y of LNG and in February executed a lump-sum, turnkey engineering, procurement and construction contract with a TechnipFMC affiliate for the first phase. ECA LNG is also working to obtain a potential equity investment in the project from Total.

Sempra said it is developing additional LNG export facilities on the Gulf Coast and Pacific coasts including a potential second phase of the ECA LNG export project.