U.S. energy regulators on Aug. 27 granted Kinder Morgan Inc.'s request to put in service the 10th and final liquefaction train at the company's nearly $2 billion Elba Island LNG export plant in Georgia.

Kinder Morgan said on Aug. 20 that Train 7 would be ready for service on Aug. 27, according to filings with the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

Trains 1-6 and 8-10 were already available, with Train 1 entering service in October 2019 and Train 10 in August 2020.

Each train is capable of liquefying about 0.3 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) of LNG or 0.04 Bcf/d of natural gas.

The first export cargo from Elba left in December. Elba, however, has not exported a cargo since January as government steps to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus have sapped global energy demand.

Elba, which is 51% owned by units of Kinder Morgan and 49% by EIG Global Energy Partners, is designed to liquefy about 2.5 MTPA of LNG, equivalent to around 0.35 Bcf/d of natural gas.

Royal Dutch Shell Plc has a 20-year contract to use the facility.

Including projects under construction, U.S. LNG export capacity is expected to rise from 9.8 Bcf/d now to 10.5 Bcf/d by the end of 2021 and 12.5 Bcf/d by the end of 2022.

That keeps the U.S. on track to become the world's biggest LNG exporter in 2024. It became the third-biggest exporter in 2019, behind Qatar and Australia.