Sempra Energy expects to make a final investment decision on the ECA LNG project in Q2 2020


Sempra to move ahead with ECA LNG project in Mexico amid coronavirus concerns. (Credit: Sempra Energy)

Sempra Energy said that it will continue to move ahead with the development of phase 1 of the Energía Costa Azul LNG liquefaction-export project (ECA LNG project) in Mexico amid the coronavirus crisis.

The energy infrastructure company expects to make a final investment decision on the Mexican LNG project in the second quarter of this year.

Sempra Energy reiterated its plans for the LNG project at a virtual investor day conference call, during which it also provided details on its five-year capital plan.

ECA LNG project phase 1 will have 2.4MTPA capacity

Phase 1 of the ECA LNG project, which is being developed in Baja California, will be a single train LNG facility with a capacity of 2.4 million tonnes per annum (MTPA).

Earlier this month, a fixed-price, lump-sum, turn-key engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract was awarded by the project holding company to Technip FMC.

To be built near an existing LNG receipt terminal located about 24km north of Ensenada, the ECA LNG project is planned to liquefy US-produced natural gas. The LNG export project will have a second phase, which involves the addition of two LNG trains and an LNG storage tank.

Despite the prevailing coronavirus pandemic, Sempra Energy said that it will stick to its five-year capital plan of about $32bn. The capital plan will be focused mainly on investments at the company’s utilities in the US, which include San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), Southern California Gas (SoCalGas), and Oncor Electric Delivery.

The company said that it expects to wrap up the $4.55-4.85bn sale of its Peruvian and Chilean operations in the coming three to six weeks.

Sempra Energy revealed that it is on the verge of completing phase 1 of the Cameron LNG project in Hackberry, Louisiana in which it indirectly owns a 50.2% stake.

The company also said that earlier this month, the holding company of its Port Arthur LNG project had awarded an EPC contract to Bechtel Oil, Gas, and Chemicals. The Port Arthur LNG liquefaction project is currently being developed in Port Arthur, Texas, with the company continuing with the site preparation work.

Sempra Energy said that while its businesses are operating as of now without any material disruptions, the progress of its projects will depend on the fast-evolving global health crisis.

Sempra Energy chairman and CEO Jeffrey Martin said: “In the midst of a global health crisis, our first obligation is to the health and safety of our employees and the communities we serve.

“Building resilience into our business model and investing in safe and reliable infrastructure is at the core of our strategy.

“At Sempra Energy, our five-year capital plan – the most robust in our company’s history – gives us great visibility into sustainable earnings growth that should help create long-term value for our stakeholders.”