U.S. energy company Sempra Energy said on Feb. 28 that its Sempra Infrastructure unit was on track to make a final investment decision (FID) in the first quarter to build the Port Arthur LNG export plant in Texas.

The company said in its fourth-quarter earnings that the first phase of Port Arthur was now fully subscribed at 10.5 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) of long-term contracts.

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Buyers of Port Arthur's LNG include units of Poland's Polski Koncern Naftowy Orlen SA, U.S. oil producer ConocoPhillips and Germany's RWE AG.

Sempra has a roughly $10.5 billion engineering, procurement and construction contract with U.S. construction firm Bechtel to build the plant.

Sempra is not the only developer expected to start construction on new U.S. LNG export plants this year. Other projects include Energy Transfer LP's Lake Charles in Louisiana and NextDecade Corp.'s Rio Grande in Texas.

Sempra also said the second phase of its Cameron LNG development project in Louisiana "remains on track for completion of the competitive front-end engineering design process in the summer."

In addition, Sempra noted its Vista Pacifico and the second phase of its Costa Azul LNG development projects in Mexico both received approvals from the U.S. Department of Energy in December to export U.S.-sourced natural gas in the form of LNG from Mexico to non-Free Trade Agreement countries.

Sempra is part of a joint venture that owns the operating 15-mtpa Cameron LNG export plant.

In addition, to the 13.5-MTPA first phase of Port Arthur, Sempra is building a 3.3-mtpa LNG export plant at its Costa Azul LNG import plant.

The company is also developing a second 13.5-mtpa phase at Port Arthur, a second 6.8-mtpa phase at Cameron, a second 12-mtpa phase at Costa Azul and the 3.5-mtpa export plant at Vista Pacifico.