Sempra investment in Southwest Louisiana could grow to more than $7 billion

By By Lance Traweek / American Press

San Diego-based Sempra Energy could potentially invest an additional $6 billion on about 500 acres in Southwest Louisiana,

officials said Monday.

The total amount of Sempra’s investment

in the state could exceed $7 billion. The company originally planned to

spend $1 billion.

An option to lease the additional acreage of port-owned property north of the existing plant site was proposed and passed

by the Port Board Monday.

Cameron LNG has filed with the Federal

Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) an application to expand its current


natural gas (LNG) import facility presently located on 200 acres

of Port-owned property in Cameron Parish that is leased to

Cameron LNG.

The proposed expansion will add facilities to allow for the processing of natural gas into LNG for export.

It will require changes on the existing

plant site and extensive new plant facilities to be located north of

the existing

plant on property acquired by Cameron LNG and on a new lease area

of 165 acres belonging to the Port and located in Calcasieu


“As we went through our design phase we

recognized late last year that having additional acreage would give us

some flexibility

... for a broader footprint of the facility,” Mark Nelson,

regional vice president for Sempra, told the newspaper after the

meeting. “We are quite optimistic at Sempra. This is an important


Nelson said the company is simultaneously working on three tracks: construction, financing and permitting.

“FERC has deemed the permit complete,” Nelson said. “We would hope to have FERC approval in the third or fourth quarter of


Nelson said their invitation to bid went out two weeks ago and that is “another important milestone.”

“International firms will begin reviewing that document and respond with their interest to bid or not,” he said.

Richert Self, director of Administration and Finance at Port of Lake Charles, said the port is excited to be able to lease

the additional land.

As far as what this means for the port, the port will receive a 24 month option payment of $300,000. There is also an possible

12 month extension for $150,000, Self said.

Once Cameron LNG is satisfied that the project can proceed, Cameron LNG may exercise the option and trigger and long-term

ground lease that provides for a primary term of approximately 30 years at a rent of $561,000 per year for the 165 acres.

According to Sempra, the project would create nearly 3,000 construction jobs and 130 full-time jobs. Nelson said construction

is still set for 2013 and the first liquefaction train will open at the end of 2016.