Cheniere Energy Partners on Thursday said it had given contractors the go-ahead to begin work on two liquefaction trains for its Sabine Pass natural gas export terminal project.
The company, which earlier this month reported a $73 million second-quarter loss, said the first train could begin operating as soon as 2015.
“The Sabine Pass LNG terminal will become the first facility in the contiguous U.S. capable of exporting natural gas as LNG,” company CEO Charif Souki said in a news release. “Two years after announcing our plans to develop the liquefaction facility, we will begin construction.”
The facility, which will convert natural gas into a liquid, will cost $5.6 billion, the company said. The Teachers’ Retirement System of Louisiana is among the investors in the project, which received Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approval in April.
Company officials have said the project will employ 3,000 during the peak of the construction phase and that the facility itself will create 150 permanent jobs.
Souki said Cheniere Energy has already made deals with four global buyers to provide 2 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day for 20 years.
Each train — the project calls for four — will have a capacity of about 5 million tons of LNG per year, and the company hopes to bring them online in intervals of six to nine months once the first one is finished.
The company’s existing import terminal has regasification and send-out capacity of 4 billion cubic feet a day and can store close to 17 billion cubic feet of gas.