Tellurian pledges $1 million for new LNG Center for Excellence

Published 4:28 pm Tuesday, October 3, 2023

The LNG Center of Excellence received a $1 million pledge in support from Tellurian to financially support the LNG Center of Excellence and to provide scholarships for students to earn the new McNeese LNG Business Certificate.

The announcement was made at the second annual McNeese LNG Day on Tuesday.

McNeese State University President Daryl Burckel said Tellurian’s support will bring the university “one step closer” to making the LNG Center of Excellence a reality.

Email newsletter signup

“We thank the company for their leadership, commitment or resources and their vision to see what this center can mean for industry and the Southwest Louisiana community.”

Samik Mukherjee, Tellurian executive vice president and DriftWood Assets president, said it was an honor to pledge $1 million to the center and student scholarships.

“We are very, very proud to be associated with McNeese and we have some great dreams and vision to make this thing a real epicenter of world LNG. I think we owe it to you, because you are the future leaders, and I’m really pleased that we as a Tellurian team can be a part of your journey and your dreams”

The LNG Center of Excellence is a 24,000-foot complex planned to be built on Sale Road near Ryan Street that will serve as a national hub for LNG industry education and development, allowing for students and industry leaders alike to operate process equipment in a safe, controlled environment.

Jason French, executive director of the LNG Center of Excellence, said there are three main purposes of the center — workforce development, driven research and development — alongside the industry and the establishment of McNeese State University as a “thought leader in LNG.”

He explained that Southwest Louisiana is prime real estate for the facility and cited the area as an LNG industry leader. He said if Louisiana were its own country, then it would be the “third-largest exporter of liquified natural gas in the world.”

The state’s LNG journey began about 10 years ago.

“Every day, we hear a new energy story here in Southwest Louisiana. Today, it might be hydrogen, tomorrow it might be wind. It seems like something new is happening in this region all the time. But sometimes we forget that a little over a decade ago, something very new and innovative was being tried here, the export of liquified natural gas.”

Tellurian is one of several LNG producers that is hoping to take root in the region. Tellurian Driftwood LNG is a facility that is planned to be constructed in Carlyss and begin shipping liquified natural gas by 2027.

Mukherjee said the region has everything the LNG industry needs to thrive: skilled labor, gas, active pipelines, waterways and collaborative state government, business and community relationships. Southwest Louisiana has it all.

The LNG Center of Excellence should break ground by the end of the year, French said. Construction was delayed by a couple of months due to delays in the distribution of the federal grant process, but the center is still slated to be completed for the spring 2025 semester.

The LNG Business Certificate that a portion of the pledge will be set aside for is an 18-credit hour certificate that is a collaboration between the College of Business and the Department of Engineering and Computer Science.