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TOKYO, Sept 19 (Reuters) - Cheniere Energy is likely to start selling spot liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the Sabine Pass project in Louisiana as early as late 2015, its chief executive said on Tuesday, setting the stage to export 2 million tonnes per annum (mpta) of U.S. supplies to global markets.
"The first (spot cargo) will not be till late 2015 or early 2016," Cheniere's Charif Souki said on the sidelines of a conference in Tokyo.
Cheniere, whose board in July gave the final go-ahead for the first two liquefaction processing units, called 'trains', in Sabine Pass, expects to sell 16 mtpa from the planned 18 mtpa plant to long-term customers, while selling the rest in the spot market.
The company has firm supply deals with South Korea's state-owned gas buyer KOGAS, Britain's BG Group , India's GAIL and Spain's Gas Natural Fenosa .
The proposed export plant will comprise up to four trains, with the capacity to export 4.5 mtpa of LNG each. The first train is expected to start operating as early as 2015, with the second due to start six to nine months later.
Cheniere also aims to export up to 15 mpta of LNG from another LNG export plant at Corpus Christi in Texas, with 10-11 mtpa going to long-term buyers and the rest to the spot market, Souki said.