Nov 18 (Reuters) - Sempra Energy’s Costa Azul liquefied natural gas plant in Mexico will be the only North American LNG export project to go forward this year now that Venture Global delayed its plan to start on its proposed Plaquemines project in Louisiana until 2021.
Last year saw a record level of approvals for new LNG export plants, but investment in new energy infrastructure dried up in 2020 after oil and gas prices collapsed due to coronavirus demand destruction.
Sempra’s announcement on Tuesday about going forward with Costa Azul made it the only LNG export project in the world to get a final investment decision (FID) in 2020.
At the start of 2020, a dozen or so North American developers said they planned to make FIDs by the end of this year. But all were delayed until 2021 or later.
On its website, Venture Global said it plans to build Plaquemines in mid 2021 and put it into operation in 2024.
Venture Global had no comment on when it updated the Plaquemines website. In September, the website said the company planned a FID in late 2020 with commercial service starting in 2023-2024.
Plaquemines is designed to produce up to 20 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) of LNG. Analysts estimated the plant will cost about $8.5 billion.
In addition to Plaquemines, Venture Global is building the 10-MTPA Calcasieu Pass LNG export plant in Louisiana, which is expected to cost about $4.5 billion and enter service in the autumn of 2022.
It is also developing the 20-MTPA Delta LNG export plant in Louisiana. The company said it hopes to start construction in the second half of 2021 with the first phase entering service in the second half of 2024 and the second phase in the second half of 2025.
Reporting by Scott DiSavino; Editing by Tom Brown
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