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Corpus Christi completion boosts Cheniere capacity

Cheniere Energy has officially declared Train 2 at its Corpus Christi facility to be operational. Commissioning has been completed and the contractor, Bechtel, has passed responsibility for the site to Cheniere, a statement on September 3 said.

This is the seventh train that Bechtel has completed for Cheniere, at Corpus Christi and Sabine Pass, each ahead of schedule and within budget. The two Corpus Christi trains have 4.5 million tonnes per year (tpy) of capacity each.

Train 2’s commissioning cargo was delivered in July. The contractor continued overseeing operations during the start up process.

First commercial deliveries under the sale and purchase agreements (SPAs) are due to begin in May 2020. SPAs have been signed with Électricité de France (EdF), Iberdrola, Naturgy Energy, PT Pertamina (Persero) and Woodside Energy Trading Singapore. SPAs on Train 1 started up in June this year, with supplies going to Endesa and Persero.

Cheniere gave Bechtel notice to proceed with the construction of two trains at Corpus Christi in May 2015. The first train exported its commissioning cargo in November 2018.

A third train at Corpus Christi is due to be completed in the second half of 2021, taking nominal capacity to 13.5mn tpy.

Cheniere is working on another expansion scheme at Corpus Christi, which it calls Stage 3. This will involve seven midscale trains, each with production capacity of around 1.4mn tpy. The company is working on the regulatory approvals for this stage.

Bechtel is also working on a sixth train at Sabine Pass for Cheniere, which is due to be completed in the first half of 2023. This will add another 4.5mn tpy to the existing 22.5mn tpy capacity. This would bring the total constructed by Bechtel for Cheniere to 40.5mn tpy – roughly double the US’ total exports in 2018.

Cheniere is expanding rapidly. In the first six months of the year, it reported 191 cargoes had been exported, from 128 in the same period of 2018. LNG volumes were also up, by 44% in this period. Low prices in Asia and Europe have posed some problems for the company’s bottom line and it has taken some steps to moderate its exposure, most notably through an integrated production marketing (IPM) deal with Apache, for gas supplies exported via Corpus Christi. ​

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