The Corpus Christi LNG export terminal in Texas, US, is operated by Corpus Christi Liquefaction, a subsidiary of Cheniere Energy.

The project is being developed in three stages, with stage one commencing operations in November 2018. The stage one includes two LNG trains of 4.5 million metric tonnes per annum (Mmtpa) of liquefaction capacity each.

The second stage will add another 4.5Mmtpa LNG train, while stage three will add seven mid-scale LNG trains to increase the total capacity of the LNG facility to approximately 23Mmtpa.

The first two LNG trains were commissioned in November 2018 and the terminal is expected to achieve its full capacity in 2022.

The estimated investment on the first two stages, which have a combined capacity of 13.5Mmtpa, is $15bn.

Corpus Christi LNG location and site details

The Corpus Christi LNG export terminal is being developed on a 1,000ha site on the La Quinta Channel to the north-east of the Corpus Christi Bay in San Patricio County, Texas.

The project site was earlier permitted for the development of a regasification terminal, but later allotted for the construction of Corpus Christi LNG export terminal.

Corpus Christi LNG project development history

Cheniere Energy submitted development application for the Corpus Christi LNG project to the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in August 2012. It received FERC approval for the first three LNG trains in December 2014.

Cheniere Energy announced the final investment decision (FID) on the first two LNG trains in May 2015 and started construction in the same month.

The FID on the third LNG train was announced in May 2018. Cheniere Energy applied for FERC approval for the stage three development of the LNG project in June 2018.

Facility details of Corpus Christi LNG stages one and stage two

The Corpus Christi natural gas liquefaction and export terminal will comprise three 4.5Mmtpa liquefaction units, three LNG storage tanks of more than 10 billion cubic feet (bcf) of combined storage capacity, and two marine berths to accommodate LNG vessels of up to 267,000m³  cubic meterscapacity, upon completion of the stage two development.

The LNG trains use ConocoPhillips’ proprietary Optimized Cascade technology, which involves a three-phase refrigeration process involving propane, ethylene, and methane to cool the natural gas.

Each LNG train is fitted with six GE LM2500 G4+ gas turbine-driven refrigerant compressors.

Corpus Christi pipeline details

The Corpus Christi LNG facility receives feed gas through a 37km-long and 48in-diameter pipeline originating near Sinton, Texas.

Placed in service in June 2018, the pipeline is built with 73,000 Hp of compression facility and can supply up to 2.25bcf of gas a day.

The Corpus Christi pipeline allows for interconnection to interstate and intrastate natural gas transmission pipelines including the Tennessee Gas Pipeline, Kinder Morgan Tejas Pipeline, and Transcontinental Gas Pipeline.

LNG supply from Corpus Christi terminal

The customers for the Corpus Christi LNG project include Pertamina (1.72Mmtpa), Endesa (2.25Mmtpa), Enel Group (3bcm/y), Iberdrola (0.8Mmtpa), Gas Natural Fenosa (1.5Mmtpa), Woodside Energy (0.85Mmtpa), EDF (0.77Mmtpa), EDP (0.77Mmtpa), and PetroChina (1.2Mmtpa).

Financing

The first two LNG trains were financed through $8.4bn of debt and $3.1bn of equity.

The debt financing was arranged by 31 commercial banks and other financial institutions.

The equity portion was provided by affiliates of Cheniere Energy through capital raises from EIG Global Energy Partners.

Corpus Christi LNG stage three details

The Corpus Christi LNG stage three development plan includes seven mid-scale LNG trains with a combined liquefaction capacity of 9.5Mmtpa, an LNG storage tank, and a 33.7km-long and 42in-diameter bi-directional gas pipeline parallel to the existing 48-inch diameter gas pipeline.

The front-end engineering and design (FEED) study for the expansion project was completed in 2017.

Contractors involved

Bechtel was awarded two lump-sum turnkey contracts worth $7.1bn and $2.4bn respectively for the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) of the development stages one and two of  project in December 2013.

Baker Hughes, a subsidiary of General Electric, provided the turbomachinery equipment for the first two LNG trains.

It was also contracted to provide the same for the third LNG train of the Corpus Christi LNG project in June 2018.