U.S. liquefied natural gas company Venture Global LNG said on Thursday that construction firm Zachry Group will work with engineering firm KBR Inc (KBR.N) in a joint venture to build the first phase of the Plaquemines LNG export plant in Louisiana.
The joint venture, called KZJV, will install modular liquefaction trains at Plaquemines that are similar to systems being installed at Venture Global’s Calcasieu Pass LNG plant in Louisiana.
Energy analysts have estimated the cost of Calcasieu at around $4.5 billion and said it could start producing LNG in test mode as soon as late 2021.
Venture Global said on its website that it expects to make financial close on Plaquemines in mid 2021 with the plant entering commercial service in 2024.
Analysts say Plaquemines is one of the few U.S. export projects expected to go forward this year after only one LNG export plant – Sempra Energy’s (SRE.N) Costa Azul in Mexico – started construction in 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic depressed demand.
Currently, 13 North American projects, including Plaquemines, have said they plan to make a final investment decision to start construction in 2021, most of which were delayed from 2020.
Venture Global said it has contracted 3.5 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) of the first 10-MTPA phase of Plaquemines under binding 20-year offtake agreements and has received both U.S. Department of Energy export authorization and final approval from the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).
Venture Global is building or developing over 50 MTPA of LNG production capacity in Louisiana, including the 10-MTPA Calcasieu Pass that is expected to enter commercial service in 2022.
The company also has several plants in various stages of development including a second 10-MTPA phase at Plaquemines, two 10-MTPA phases at Delta and two 10-MTPA phases at CP2 next to the Calcasieu site.