The approximately $4 billion Commonwealth LNG export terminal is expected to reach final investment decision and get final federal approval by the first quarter of 2021 and start operations by early 2024, officials said on Wednesday.

Scott Ray, Commonwealth LNG vice president, told Gulf Coast Industrial Group members that each of the facility's six liquefaction trains will be capable of producing 1.4 million tons of LNG per year, or a total of 8.4 million tons annually. The project site is located on 400 acres in Cameron Parish at the west bank of the Calcasieu Ship Channel at the Gulf of Mexico.

Ray said the draft resource report was filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission last December. FERC requires 13 resource reports be filed during the application process.

The main challenge with the project, Ray said, is avoiding late changes and controlling capital spending.

Each of the 40,000-cubic-meter LNG storage tanks will be modular, a first for the LNG industry, Ray said. He said 75 percent of the construction work on the facility will be done at fabrication yards in Louisiana, Texas and internationally before they are barged to the Cameron site.

Using modular fabrication is the best way to get the project built because it avoids having to house thousands of temporary workers at worker villages, Ray said.

"We don't want to harm the area," he said. "We know we want to put as much as we can into the local community."

TechnipFMC is working on engineering and design for the project. He said the project has a 36-month timeline from final investment decision to starting operations, which is quicker than the typical 48- to 52-month timeline for similar LNG projects.

Ray said Southwest Louisiana plays a significant role in providing energy worldwide, including to countries looking to import LNG from the U.S. for the first time.

"We've got people from Bangladesh, parts of Vietnam ... because they're changing their lifestyles as well," he said.


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