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Cheniere on track to finish 3 U.S. LNG trains in 2019

(Reuters) - U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) company Cheniere Energy Inc said on Thursday it remains on track to finish building three liquefaction trains in 2019 at its export terminals at Sabine Pass in Louisiana and Corpus Christi in Texas.

The company said in its second quarter earnings release that Sabine 5 and Corpus 1 are expected to enter service in the first half of 2019, followed by Corpus 2 in the second half of 2019.

Cheniere chief executive Jack Fusco told analysts on an earnings call that the company expects Sabine 5 and Corpus 1 to produce first LNG in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Corpus 3, meanwhile, is expected to enter service in the second half of 2021. 

All of Cheniere’s liquefaction trains are capable of liquefying about 0.7 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) of natural gas. One billion cubic feet is enough gas to fuel about 5 million U.S. homes for a day.

Cheniere’s Sabine, in February 2016, was the first big LNG export facility to enter service in the Lower 48 U.S. states. The company currently has four liquefaction trains operating at Sabine.

U.S. LNG exports almost quadrupled from 183.9 billion cubic feet (bcf) in 2016 to 706.4 bcf in 2017, worth about $3.3 billion, and are on track to rise to over 1,000 bcf in 2018, making the country one of the world’s biggest exporters of the super-cooled gas.

Total U.S. LNG export capacity is expected to jump to 8.8 bcfd by the end of 2019 and 10.1 bcfd by the end of 2020 from 3.8 bcfd now, which should make the United States the world’s third-biggest LNG exporter by capacity in 2019.

Cheniere has estimated the cost of the first five trains at Sabine, including financing, at between $17.5 billion and $18.5 billion, while the first three trains at Corpus are expected to cost between $15.0 billion and $16.0 billion after financing.

Cheniere is also developing a sixth 0.7-bcfd train at Sabine and seven smaller 0.2-bcfd trains at Corpus.

Reporting by Scott DiSavino; Editing by Steve Orlofsky and Marguerita Choy

 


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