Sempra secures licenses to export LNG from two projects in Mexico

Sempra Infrastructure, a subsidiary of North American energy company Sempra, has received authorisation from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to re-export liquefied natural gas (LNG) from two projects in Mexico.

ECA LNG. Courtesy of Sempra

On 22 December, Sempra announced that Energía Costa Azul, S. de R.L. de C.V. (ECA LNG) and Vista Pacifico, S.A.P.I. de C.V. (Vista Pacifico LNG) received licences from DOE to re-export US-sourced LNG from Mexico to non-Free Trade Agreement (FTA) nations.

Under the permits granted by DOE, Vista Pacifico LNG is authorised to re-export up to 200 billion cubic feet per year (Bcf/yr) of LNG from US-sourced natural gas from the project under development in Sinaloa, Mexico to any country with which the United States does not have an FTA requiring national treatment for trade in natural gas.

Vista Pacifico LNG is projected to be a mid-scale facility with approximately 3.5 million tons per annum (mtpa) of export capacity. Sempra Infrastructure is advancing the development of Vista Pacifico LNG in collaboration with Mexico’s Federal Electricity Commission (CFE).

The DOE also increased the authorised export volumes of ECA LNG Phase 2, permitting it to re-export up to 636 Bcf/yr of LNG from US-sourced natural gas from the proposed project in Baja California, Mexico to non-FTA nations.

The proposed ECA LNG Phase 2 is expected to be comprised of two trains and one LNG storage tank and produce approximately 12 mtpa of export capacity. ECA LNG Phase 1 received non-FTA export authorisation in 2019 and is currently under construction with commercial operations expected in 2025.

ECA LNG. Courtesy of Sempra

The newly-granted permits are both applicable for the period beginning on the date of the first commercial re-export through December 2050.

The export licences were welcomed as an important milestone for the two development projects, which are now “step closer to supporting the world’s energy security and environmental goals”.

According to Justin Bird, CEO of Sempra Infrastructure, these export projects are expected to support efforts across the Indo-Pacific region to diversify energy supplies while transitioning away from coal in power production

“They are also expected to help strengthen U.S. trading relationships, as well as create new jobs and boost the U.S. and Mexico economies”, Bird added.

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