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Cheniere moves forward with LNG expansion

An artist’s rendering of the Cheniere Corpus Christi plant site, which is nearing completion. The company has secured enough business to continue with its third liquid natural gas train at the site. Courtesy photo

Cheniere Energy Inc. announced full build ahead for a new liquified natural gas project in Gregory, the first new LNG plant in the United States since 2015. It is the third LNG plant at the Corpus Christi site.

Construction began on the plant, also known as a train, in 2017. Two other trains at the plant, which operates in the Coastal Bend as Corpus Christi Liquefaction LLC, are expected to go online in 2019. Each train costs about $3 billion and takes around four years to complete.

The holdup on Train 3 went hand in hand with global uncertainty in the oil and gas market. Investors stepped in to make the train a reality after the U.S. and China seemed to settle trade differences by agreeing to hold further talks about boosting U.S. exports to China. Looking to reduce its dependency on coal, China has begun to rely more on natural gas.

At least 1.2 metric tonnes per annum of the Train 3 output has been earmarked for China National Petroleum Corp. in a lease agreement signed in February. Other deals allowing for construction to move forward are with Trafigura, a trading house, and Energias de Portugal.

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