The Lake Charles liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal is a brownfield LNG project planned to be developed in Lake Charles, Louisiana, US.

The project involves the conversion of the existing Lake Charles LNG import and regasification facility, owned by Energy Transfer, into an LNG export terminal. Energy Transfer is responsible for the development of the LNG export project on the US Gulf Coast.

Energy Transfer took over the full ownership of the LNG project after Shell decided not to go ahead with an equity investment in the proposed LNG export facility in May 2020. Shell gained an entry into the project through the acquisition of British oil and gas company BG Group in February 2016.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) granted approval for the LNG export project in 2015. The regulator also approved a five-year extension to construct the facility in December 2019 and extended the deadline again by another three years in May 2022, allowing the company to place the project into service by 16 December 2028.

The Lake Charles LNG export terminal will have a liquefaction capacity of 16.45 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) at full capacity. The facility has approval from the US Department of Energy to export up to 2.33 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day.

Location and field details

The Lake Charles LNG export terminal will be located on the Calcasieu ship channel in Lake Charles, Louisiana, US.

The liquefaction and export project will occupy an additional area of 240 acres at the Lake Charles LNG import and regasification facility.

The Lake Charles LNG export project details

The Lake Charles LNG export project will use the existing infrastructure of the import and regasification facility.

The project is expected to have an access to natural gas supplies, facilitated by existing connections to the Henry Hub and the gas pipeline network operated by Energy Transfer. Located in Erath, Louisiana, Henry Hub provides access to nine interstate and four intrastate pipelines.

The LNG export project will comprise the development of a new liquefaction facility with three 5.5Mtpa trains and each train will have metering and gas treatment facilities, liquefaction and refrigerant units, safety and control systems, and associated infrastructure.

The Lake Charles LNG facility will also involve modifications and upgrades to the existing infrastructure, including the construction of approximately 28.8km of natural gas pipeline.

A 48inch-diameter feed gas line of about 800m in length will be laid to transport natural gas to the liquefaction facility from existing gas transmission pipelines.

In addition, the project will include the installation of a new compressor station, the abandonment of a compressor unit, and five new meter stations. Modifications are planned to be made to station piping at three compressor stations and five meter stations of the existing facilities.

Lake Charles LNG import and regasification terminal details

The existing Lake Charles LNG terminal has approximately nine billion cubic feet (Bcf) of LNG storage capacity and re-gasification facilities.

It has an above-ground LNG storage capacity of approximately 430,000m3, two deep water docks to handle up to 217,000m3 of capacity ships and a deep water turning basin. Previously known as the Trunkline LNG project, it also has a pipeline infrastructure.

LNG off-take agreements

Energy Transfer signed an LNG sale and purchase agreement (SPA) with China Gas Hongda Energy Trading, a subsidiary of China Gas Holdings, for the Lake Charles LNG project in June 2022. The SPA involves the supply of 0.7Mtpa of LNG for a period of 25 years, with the first deliveries expected to begin in 2026

The company also signed SPAs with SK Gas Trading and Gunvor Singapore in May 2022 to supply 0.4Mtpa and 2Mtpa of LNG, respectively. The SPA with SK Gas is for a period of 18 years, while it is for a term of 20 years with Gunvor.

It also entered into 20-year term SPAs with ENN NG and ENN Energy in March 2022, to supply 1.8 million tonnes of LNG and 0.9 million tonnes of LNG, respectively.

Contractors involved

Rolls-Royce was selected by BG Group to deliver the Trent 60 DLE gas turbines for the Lake Charles LNG export project in October 2014. The contract also included the maintenance of the equipment for up to 25 years.