Construction of a $30bn liquified natural gas (LNG) plant in Louisiana is to begin in April, even though the funding arrangements for the project have not yet been finalised, S&P Global Platts reports.
The Driftwood LNG production plant, which is being built by US engineer Bechtel for Driftwood Inc, a subsidiary of US energy company Tellurian, is intended to produce 28 million tonnes of LNG a year.
Charif Souki, executive chairman of the Houston company, said Tellurian had signed 10-year deals with Shell, Guvnor and Vitol for 9 million tonnes of gas, and this justified beginning work on the first phase of the scheme.
“We have access to enough capital to make sure we can do the first year of construction,” Souki said.
He added that Tellurian was attempting to arrange financing with 45 different lenders, which was “like herding cats”. Nevertheless, global demand for gas is so high, particularly in Europe, that the board felt “comfortable” about beginning the project.
The plant is being built on the west bank of the Calcasieu River, south of Lake Charles.
In 2017, Driftwood agreed a $15.5bn turnkey engineering, procurement and construction contract with Bechtel that guarantees cost, performance and schedule.
The first phase will consist of two plants, each with up to four liquefaction trains. According to Tellurian, this will create about 400 direct jobs and 6,500 construction jobs.