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Cheniere Energy expects the initial LNG cargo from its Corpus Christi Liquefaction Stage 3 (CCL Stage 3) brownfield expansion project will set sail by year-end 2024 – ahead of schedule, President and CEO Jack Fusco said during a webcast with analysts.
“I'm optimistic we'll be commissioning on Train 1 with first LNG production by the end of 2024 and forecast all seven trains to achieve substantial completion by the end of 2026,” Fusco said during Cheniere’s Nov. 2 third quarter earnings webcast.
During the webcast the executive said he was confident in the ability of the Cheniere and Bechtel team to continue with an accelerated schedule and the delivery of CCL Stage 3.
The CCL Stage 3, which will consist of seven “midscale” trains (Trains 1 through Train 7) that will add more than 10 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) of production capacity. Fusco said progress on the third stage had reached the 44.1% mark.
“We look forward to maintaining our accelerating progress in order to again deliver LNG to the market, well ahead of schedule, increasing our operating capacity again starting in 2025,” Fusco said. During the quarter Cheniere produced its 3,000th LNG cargo since its start-up in 2016, thus “becoming the fastest LNG producer in history to achieve that milestone,” he said.
Additionally, Cheniere is developing two midscale trains (Train 8 and Train 9) with an expected total production capacity of 3 mtpa adjacent to the CCL Stage 3 project. Cheniere has already filed an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for the two trains, Fusco said.
“We need to get going on construction of Train 8 and 9 at Corpus in 2026 as the first seven trains complete. And our goal is definitely well ahead of that to get going,” Cheniere CFO Zach Davis added during the webcast.
Existing LNG capacity
Houston-based Cheniere reported net income of $1.7 billion in third-quarter 2023, compared to a net loss of $2.4 billion in second-quarter 2022. Cheniere said the favorable results were due to changes in fair value of its derivative portfolio.
In terms of its LNG production capacity, Cheniere currently produces around 45 mtpa from nine trains from two locations: one in Corpus Christi in South Texas and another at Sabine Pass in Louisiana.
The CCL project, located in the Corpus Christi Bay in San Patricio County, Texas, has three trains that can produce 5 mtpa each (15 mtpa combined) of LNG. Cheniere’s plans in Corpus Christi entail the addition of 13 mtpa from the CCL Stage 3 (the first seven trains) in addition to trains 8 and 9.
The Sabine Pass Liquefaction (SPL) project has six trains that can produce 5 mtpa each (or a combined 30 mtpa) of LNG. Cheniere’s plans in Sabine Pass entail the addition of around 20 mtpa.
The SPL Stage 5 expansion project, which will be adjacent to the existing SPL project located in Cameron Parish, Louisiana, will consist of three large-scale liquefaction trains. Each is expected to have nominal production capacity of approximately 6.5 mtpa of LNG.
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