Sempra Energy and Bechtel team up on Port Arthur LNG project

Sempra and Saudi Aramco plan LNG project in Port Arthur. Credit: Sempra

San Diego’s Sempra Energy has selected Bechtel for the engineering, procurement, and construction of the Port Arthur LNG export terminal in Houston, Texas.

Phase 1 of the export project will include three LNG storage tanks, as well as two natural gas liquefaction chains, ultimately enabling the export of around 11 million tonnes of LNG per annum.

The company is working on agreements with Saudi Arabian oil company, Saudi Aramco, for the purchase of 5 million tonnes per annum, as well as a 25% equity investment, and an agreement for 2 million tonnes per annum with Polish oil and gas company PGNiG. Liquefaction trains at Port Arthur will be able to produce 13.5 million tonnes of LNG annually.

“Port Arthur LNG plays an important role in Sempra’s goal of becoming one of North America’s largest developers of liquefaction-export infrastructure projects and we look forward to continuing to move the project forward,” said Sempra Energy CEO Jeff Martin in a statement.

The Port Arthur project is one of several LNG export terminals that Sempra is establishing. One such project is the first phase of the Costa Azul export plant in Baja California, Mexico. Further, train 2 at Cameron LNG plant in Louisiana started commercial operations at the beginning of March, with train 3 due to come online in the third quarter of 2020. Ultimately, through its various projects, Sempra plans to develop an export capacity of 45 million tonnes per annum.

Bechtel, meanwhile, has had a hand in establishing 46 LNG liquefaction trains across nine countries, amounting to a combined 132 million tonnes of annual export capacity from those nations. The company has also constructed liquefaction trains in the US, including works at Cheniere Energy’s Sabine Pass LNG and Corpus Christi LNG export terminals.

“We’re honoured and grateful that Sempra has chosen Bechtel as their trusted partner to help grow Sempra’s LNG business on the Gulf Coast,” said Bechtel CEO Brendan Bechtel.

“Together, we will deliver an important, clean, and sustainable energy source to the world while creating jobs and building economic opportunities for the Gulf Coast community.”

In an interview with local newspaper the San Diego Union-Tribune, Martin indicated that the emphasis for the US LNG market would be concentrated more on exports in the future, considering California’s own targets to derive 100% of its energy from carbon-free sources within 25 years.

“If you want to avoid being Kodak, it’s your job as a leadership team to keep redefining the relevancy and the resiliency of your business model,” he said in early February.