FERC OKs feed gas for Sabine Pass LNG train 2

OREANDA-NEWS. April 20, 2016. The US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) yesterday authorized Cheniere Energy to introduce feed gas and refrigerants into the second liquefaction train it is building at the Sabine Pass LNG export terminal in Louisiana.

Houston-based Cheniere did not reply to an Argus inquiry asking if train 2 is producing LNG. FERC said feed gas and refrigerants could be introduced into specified areas of train 2 as part of the commissioning of that train, but it did not elaborate.

Train 1 has exported six test cargoes since late February and is expected send out up to eight test cargoes before Cheniere takes over operations of that train from contractor Bechtel in late April or early May.

Cheniere is preparing to bring the second train on line "right behind it," the firm's marketing president Meg Gentle said at the LNG 18 conference in Perth, Australia, on 13 April.

Cheniere is building five liquefaction trains at Sabine Pass, each with baseload capacity of 4.5mn t/yr, equivalent to about 620mn ft?/d (17.5mn m?/d) of gas, and peak capacity of 5mn t/yr.

Train 2 likely will produce a similar number of test cargoes as train 1. Cheniere will likely sell test cargoes on the spot market.

Cheniere expects to take over operations of train 2 in August and trains 3-4 about six months after the respective previous train. The contractually guaranteed completion date for train 5 is December 2019.

FERC on 3 March authorized Cheniere to start sending fuel gas to specified areas of train 2.

Spain's Gas Natural Fenosa has a 20-year contract to buy up to 3.5mn t/yr from Sabine Pass when train 2 starts commercial operations.

Gas flows to Sabine Pass have averaged 617mn cf/d so far in April, significantly more than 393mn cf/d in March as production has ramped up.