Sempra picks up authorization for ECA LNG export

Sempra Energy has received two authorizations from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to export U.S. produced natural gas to Mexico and to re-export LNG to countries that do not have a free-trade agreement with the U.S.

ECA LNG receiving terminal (Image courtesy of ECA LNG)

Sempra Energy said on Sunday that the company received the authorizations through its subsidiary Energía Costa Azul (ECA).

The authorizations are for exports from Phase 1 and Phase 2 liquefaction-export facilities under development in Baja California, Mexico.

Joseph A. Householder, president and COO for Sempra Energy, stated, “The timing of these approvals is great news as we meet with customers and partners this week in Shanghai. ECA LNG will source natural gas from some of the fastest-growing production regions in the U.S. and provide our customers with a competitive advantage in accessing world markets, especially Asia.

It is worth noting that the Phase 1 development opportunity is a single train LNG facility to be located adjacent to the existing LNG receipt terminal. It is expected to utilize current LNG storage tanks, marine berth and associated facilities.

Phase 2 of the project will include the addition of two trains and one LNG storage tank. The DOE authorizations allow the export of 636 billion cubic feet (Bcf) a year of U.S. sourced LNG from these infrastructure projects. Phase 2 of the project will require additional DOE approval to export its full expected capacity.

The existing ECA receipt terminal was the first LNG receipt terminal constructed on North America’s West Coast. Located about 15 miles north of Ensenada, Baja California, it began commercial operations in 2008 and is capable of processing up to 1 Bcf of natural gas per day.

To remind, Sempra Energy signed heads of agreements in November 2018 with Total, Mitsui & Co., and Tokyo Gas Co. for Phase 1 of the ECA LNG project, subject to reaching definitive agreements.

In June, TechnipFMC and Kiewit were selected as the engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning (EPC) contractors for the project, subject to reaching a definitive agreement on the EPC contract.