LNG expansion planned in Hackberry

LNG expansion planned in Hackberry

CALCASIEU PARISH, LA (KPLC) - Big projects are heading to Southwest Louisiana, especially dealing with the Port of Lake Charles.

One project involves an expansion by Cameron Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), LLC. Sempra Energy of San Diego is investing in the expansion.

The Port of Lake Charles is proving to be a huge energy corridor. Now, with support from local government agencies, Cameron LNG just needs approval from the federal government to expand.

"What they're looking at doing is changing from an import facility alone to an import and export facility," said Bill Rase, executive director of the Port of Lake Charles.

The expansion will process natural gas for the company to export.

The expansion project comes with an estimated cost of about $6 billion. The project will bring in about 3,000 construction jobs and about 1,200 full-time jobs.

"The fact that the natural gas is here, pipelines are here, the channel's here, all those big things add up to this very good spot to be for natural gas and even the port itself has another tenant that's going to come. Magnolia LNG is going to be an add-on to the existing LNGs," Rase said.

Rase said many steps need to be made, starting with approval from local agencies.

The Calcasieu Parish Police Jury approved the project at the panel's meeting on Tuesday.  Jurors like Shannon Spell believe it will be a positive move.

"It's clear that this parish is supporting that project and we stand behind it for economic development in Calcasieu Parish," said Spell, who is police jury president.

Officials said expanding services at the Port of Lake Charles is good for the economy in Southwest Louisiana.

"It's really important for the community to recognize that all of these are going to be positive impacts on the community. But there will be growing pains that go with the positive impact," Rase said.

If the project receives federal approval, Rase predicts a three year construction period.

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