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Sempra hiring may soon start

Last Modified: Thursday, August 07, 2014 8:38 AM

By Frank DiCesare / American Press

Sempra Energy on Wednesday announced the approval of its final investment decision on the Cameron LNG liquefaction-export project.

The agreement was signed by project investors Sempra LNG, GDF Suez, Mitsui & Co. and Mitsubishi Corp., committing them financially to the $10 billion project. The agreement also means that hiring for the project’s construction workers and service providers can begin.

Sempra Energy will have an indirect 50.2 percent ownership interest in the project. GDF Suez, Mitsui & Co. and Mitsubishi Corp. will each own 16.6 percent stakes. Mitsubishi Corp. will own its share of the project through a joint venture with NYK, a major Japanese shipping company.

In a statement to the American Press, Octavio Simoes, president of Sempra LNG, said the decision reflects the support Sempra has received in Southwest Louisiana.

“Today’s decision is not only a milestone for our company and our sponsors, GDF Suez, Mitsui, Mitsubishi and NYK, but also has tremendous benefit to America’s trading partners in Europe and Japan,” Simoes said.

“It creates new U.S. jobs and has long-term environmental benefits in Southwest Louisiana. We look forward to the start of construction later this year.”

The agreement comes just one week after officials from CCJV announced Cameron’s vendor procurement schedule. CCJV is the Houston-based joint venture between CB&I and Chiyoda International Corp. that was awarded the engineering, procurement and construction contract for the Cameron LNG project in March.

Sempra is looking to expand its Hackberry-based plant with three trains that will produce up to 12 million metric tons of LNG each year for export. Cameron LNG’s new trains will take about four years to build, creating about 3,000 construction jobs during peak times. The plant’s expansion is also expected to create 140 permanent positions.

Cameron LNG’s fabrication and construction work will be done primarily by CB&I workers. Some subcontracts, however, may be awarded for painting, insulation work and piling.

Sempra received its construction permit from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in June. FERC also granted the company its site clearance permit last month.

In January 2012, Sempra received final approval from the U.S. Department of Energy to export LNG from its Cameron plant to free trade agreement countries. The DOE granted Sempra conditional approval in February to export LNG to non-FTA countries. Final approval on Cameron’s non-FTA export permit is pending with the department.

Sempra’s investment agreement is subject to the finalization of permits and other conditions of equity and debt financing.

Site preparation at Cameron LNG is slated to begin this month. Sempra executives are expecting to break ground on the project this fall.

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