Jindal, Cheniere Energy announce $6 billion facility

Published: Jul. 19, 2011 at 4:02 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 19, 2011 at 6:39 PM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Three years after operations began at Cheniere's Sabine Pass LNG facility they are set to expand and construct one of the first natural gas liquefication facilities in North America. On hand to make the announcement was Cheniere Chairman & CEO Charif Souki and Governor Bobby Jindal.

"We are here to continue to develop the opportunities here in Louisiana. We think Louisiana has an amazing opportunity to be the gateway to take American energy because we have enough for us and other people," said Souki.

"Once liquification is taking place and the plant expansion is operational Cheniere will be able to export to ships and import as well. Bottom line we will have one of the first bi-directional facilities right here in Louisiana," said Gov. Jindal. "I want to thank Cheniere because they could have invested these dollars in any other state. They didn't have to be here in Louisiana. This is an incredible vote of confidence in the state and their company's future to be investing $6,000,000,000.

Souki said while the state's tax exemption and quality jobs programs were very attractive, in the end it was the spirit of Louisiana that sealed the deal.

"The most important thing that has continued to promote our investment in Louisiana is the attitude of the Louisiana people. They are grace under fire in their way of dealing with adversity. They are optimistic, tenacious and friendly. So we are happy to be here to continue to develop activities with the incredible opportunities that are offered to us today," said Souki.

The following is a news release from the Office of the Governor of Louisiana:

LAKE CHARLES – Today, Governor Bobby Jindal joined Cheniere Energy Chairman and CEO Charif Souki to announce that one of the first natural gas liquefaction facilities in North America will be constructed at Cheniere's Sabine Pass terminal in Cameron Parish. Cheniere will invest $6 billion to expand its existing facility, which will be one of the largest capital investments in Louisiana history.

The new project will create 148 new jobs and retain 77 existing jobs, with a total compensation and benefits package that will exceed an average of $100,000 a year. The new jobs will support another 589 indirect jobs in the area and 3,000 construction jobs will be created by the project at the peak of construction activity. Cheniere will build its new facility near the Louisiana-Texas border in Cameron Parish to handle the shipment of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the company's international LNG terminal.

Gov. Jindal said, "Cheniere Energy's construction of one the country's first liquefaction facilities at the Sabine Pass terminal in Cameron Parish is a huge win for our state. This multi-billion dollar investment will be one of the largest capital investments in the history of Louisiana, and build on our incredible record of job creation projects all across the state. Cheniere's facility will grow our economy, increase natural gas production and become a major exchange in continuing to meet the demand for energy around the world."

Cheniere is expected to utilize the Quality Jobs and Louisiana FastStartTM programs, as well as the Industrial Tax Exemption Program, to support the expansion project.

"The construction of Cheniere's Liquefaction Project in Cameron Parish will provide key support to Louisiana's economy and natural gas industry, which has been transformed by the development of the Haynesville Shale," said Charif Souki, Chairman and CEO of Cheniere. "In only two years, Louisiana's natural gas production has doubled as the Haynesville has grown into one of the most prolific shale plays in the world. Our Liquefaction Project will provide thousands of jobs in Southwest Louisiana while connecting the state's natural gas industry to global markets, making Louisiana the world's first dual importer and supplier of LNG. We greatly appreciate the support that Cheniere has received from the State of Louisiana and the people of Cameron Parish, who have demonstrated a strong commitment to our Sabine Pass LNG terminal."

Cheniere Energy anticipates beginning construction of the facility in early 2012. Hiring of the new permanent jobs will begin in 2014 and the facility will commence operations in 2015. The final phase of the project is expected by the end of 2018.Adding liquefaction capabilities will transform the Sabine Pass terminal into a bi-directional facility capable of exporting LNG in addition to receiving LNG for regasification.

LED Secretary Stephen Moret said, "This project is a terrific example of the tremendous secondary economic benefits associated with the Haynesville Shale and other unconventional natural gas plays in our country. We expect to see even more massive capital investment projects associated with the Haynesville Shale announced in Louisiana over the next few years. The economic benefits of historically low, stable natural gas prices in Louisiana have only begun to be realized."