Since November 2021, Venture Global Calcasieu Pass, LLC, (Venture Global)―the developer of the Calcasieu Pass liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal―has received Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approvals to commission the first six of nine liquefaction blocks. FERC issued the most recent approval on March 30, 2022. Each block contains two mid-scale liquefaction units called trains. The first authorization, issued in November 2021, was one of the initial steps toward full commercial service, and Calcasieu Pass could reach its full LNG production capacity of 1.3 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) baseload (1.6 Bcf/d peak) by the fourth quarter of this year. Natural gas deliveries to the terminal have increased throughout 2022, averaging approximately 0.8 Bcf/d in April, according to PointLogic.
Calcasieu Pass is a greenfield liquefaction facility, located in Cameron Parish, Louisiana. As in nearby LNG terminals Sabine Pass and Cameron, LNG tankers loaded at Calcasieu Pass reach the Gulf of Mexico through the Calcasieu Ship Channel. Calcasieu Pass is the seventh U.S. LNG liquefaction export facility to begin producing LNG since Cheniere’s Sabine Pass began production in 2016.
Calcasieu Pass uses a modular technology, which includes mid-scale refrigeration trains, allowing for a shorter project construction timeline. As a result, Calcasieu Pass produced its first LNG 30 months (two and a half years) after Venture Global made the final investment decision (FID), which was the shortest amount of time between FID and first LNG production of all the LNG export projects in the United States. In comparison, the development timeline from FID to first LNG production for other U.S. LNG export projects ranged from three and a half to five and a half years.
In addition to 18 mid-scale liquefaction trains, the Calcasieu Pass facility includes an onsite natural gas-fired combined-cycle turbine to generate electricity for the facility’s operations, three pre-treatment trains, and two LNG storage tanks (each with a capacity equivalent to 4.4 Bcf of gasified natural gas). The facility has two ship berths and is capable of loading LNG vessels with carrying capacities of up to 185,000 cubic meters (4.1 Bcf). The Calcasieu Pass terminal receives its feed gas through Venture Global’s 24-mile, 42-inch diameter TransCameron Pipeline, which has interconnections with the ANR, Texas Eastern Transmission Company (TETCO), and Bridgeline pipelines.
Calcasieu Pass has entered into multiple long-term sales and purchase agreements with several buyers for the total output from the terminal. We estimate that at least 0.5 Bcf/d of LNG contracted by European-based companies are likely to be delivered to Europe. Chinese energy companies have committed to purchasing about 0.3 Bcf/d, and the remaining volumes have been contracted to companies with large portfolios of LNG supply and delivery contracts. The majority of the agreements have a 20-year term in which the LNG is sold on a free on board (FOB) basis, indexed to the monthly U.S. Henry Hub natural gas price plus a facility fee indexed to inflation.
On March 1, Calcasieu Pass loaded and shipped its first LNG cargo, often called a commissioning cargo, which delivered LNG to the Netherlands and France. As of May 4, Calcasieu Pass has shipped eleven cargoes, according to shipping data provided by Bloomberg Finance, L.P.