February 21, 2008 / 5:42 PM / 12 years ago

Work starts on Angola-linked US LNG port - partner

HOUSTON, Feb 21 (Reuters) - Construction has begun on another new liquefied natural gas import terminal on the U.S. Gulf Coast, with supplies to come from Angola when it begins operation, a partner company said Thursday.

Clean LNG Energy LLC, in partnership with the Angolan national energy company Sonangol and El Paso Corp EP.N have begun work on a new terminal at Pascagoula, Mississippi, a spokesman for El Paso confirmed.

Turnkey engineering, procurement and construction contractor Aker Kvaerner AKVER.OL has been on site since earlier this month, the spokesman said.

Targeted completion is in 2011 for the $450-million facility on the Bayou Casotte Ship Channel. Plans call for the plant to regasify and send out up to 1.5 billion cubic feet of gas per day.

Gulf LNG will get its supply of liquid gas from the West African nation of Angola, which recently announced a final decision to build an LNG production facility.

“The key difference with this one is they’re part of an integrated chain back to Angola,” said Frank Harris, a Wood Mackenzie consultant who monitors the industry.

Several other proposed U.S. projects have been postponed due to difficulties lining up sources of LNG. Production facilities in gas-rich countries overseas have suffered delays and cost overruns.

The Mississippi project is part of a push to build LNG import terminals in the United States, where gas demand is outrunning supply. LNG is natural gas cooled to a liquid state for shipment by tanker overseas, beyond the reach of pipelines.

Four others are under construction on the U.S. Gulf Coast. Two of those are expected to begin operation later this year. Off Massachusetts on the East Coast, Excelerate Energy LLC is in the final stages of starting up a submergible buoy system.

With five existing terminals in operation, the additions will raise to eight the number of LNG ports serving the lower 48 United States . (Reporting by Bruce Nichols; Editing by Marguerita Choy)

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