Sempra awards $6B contract for Cameron expansion

By By Frank DiCesare / American Press

Sempra officials this week awarded a multibillion-dollar contract to a joint American and Japanese venture to build Cameron

LNG’s liquefaction and export facility.

Chiyoda International Corp., an

engineering firm based in Yokohama, Japan, and Houston-based CB&I

were awarded the $6 billion

contract to form a team responsible for engineering and

constructing the facility at the Hackberry plant. The facility will

consist of three liquefaction trains that will produce about 13.5

million tons of LNG a year for export.

Octavio Simoes, president of Sempra LNG, said Chiyoda has built more than 40 liquefaction trains for companies worldwide.

CB&I, he said, has extensive knowledge and experience with the U.S. labor market and labor laws.

“We got a very experienced liquefaction contractor,” Simoes said. “There aren’t many of them in the United States. We got

a joint venture of two companies that together bring U.S. market know-how and liquefaction know-how.”

Simoes said construction on the Cameron liquefaction project is expected to begin later this year. Prior to construction,

he said, the joint venture will be responsible for drawing all of the engineering specifications and plans and buying the

equipment to build the facility.

Construction will also be preceded by the necessary civil groundwork and soil preparation, Simoes added.

The Cameron project is expected to take about four years to build, generating about 3,000 jobs in Southwest Louisiana. Once

the facility is built, the joint venture will be responsible for its startup and commissioning to ensure that it is fully

operable, Simoes said.

“It’s a great development for us to

have contractors of this level,” he said. “Not only are they going to be

creating a number

of jobs for construction but they will also create a lot of jobs

in Baton Rouge at their fabrication site. A lot of the pipes

and other building materials will be fabricated offsite and then

moved to the construction site. So CB&I and Chiyoda will

be creating other jobs in other parts of Louisiana.”

Last month, Sempra officials received conditional approval from the U.S. Department of Energy to export LNG from the Cameron

plant to non-free trade agreement countries. The DOE awarded Sempra its free trade agreement export permit for Cameron LNG

in January 2012.

The Cameron liquefaction project is

under consideration with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which

is reviewing

its environmental impact statement to determine whether to grant

Sempra an order to construct permit. Simoes said that once

FERC grants Sempra its permit, the company expects to get full

approval from DOE to export LNG to non-FTA countries.

Simoes said Sempra expects to get FERC’s order to construct permit by the middle of the year.