Sempra Energy announced that Cameron LNG has received authorization from the US Department of Energy (DOE) to export an additional 1.41 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day (Bcfd) from its proposed Louisiana liquefaction expansion project to countries that do not have a free-trade agreement with the US.

With this order, Cameron LNG's export capacity will be 24.92 million tons per annum or 3.53 Bcfd.

Earlier this year, Cameron LNG received approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to site, construct and operate the proposed expansion project, which will include up to two additional liquefaction trains (trains No. 4 and No. 5) and one additional full containment LNG storage tank (tank No. 5). The expansion project will be located next to the Cameron LNG terminal and liquefaction facilities that were approved for construction in 2014 in Hackberry, La.

"Receiving DOE's authorization is an important step forward for the Cameron LNG expansion project," said Octavio M.C. Simoes, president of Sempra LNG & Midstream.  "We appreciate the support and leadership of the community and our federal, state and local officials for their commitment to this project that will provide incremental benefits to the economy, while meeting market demand for new LNG supplies."

Construction on the first phase of the $10 billion Cameron LNG liquefaction project (trains No. 1-3) currently is underway.  The facility is expected to commence operations during 2018, with the first full year of operations in 2019.

The proposed expansion project is subject to completing the required commercial agreements, securing all necessary consents and approvals, obtaining financing and reaching a final investment decision, among other things.