Sempra asks U.S. for more time to complete Louisiana Cameron LNG export plant

(Reuters) - U.S. energy company Sempra Energy asked U.S. energy regulators for more time to complete its $10 billion Cameron liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal in Louisiana.

FILE PHOTO: Sempra Energy headquarters is pictured in downtown San Diego, California, U.S., May 17, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Blake/FIle Photo

The U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved construction of three liquefaction trains at Cameron on June 19, 2014. That order required the project be completed within five years.

Sempra said the first train at Cameron started producing LNG earlier in May and is expected to export its first cargo in coming weeks.

The company has said Cameron Trains 2 and 3 will enter service in the first and second quarters of 2020.

Sempra asked FERC for a 15-month extension to put the full plant into service until Sept. 19, 2020.

Separately, Saudi Aramco signed a 20-year agreement on Wednesday to buy LNG from Sempra’s proposed Port Arthur LNG export plant in Texas.

The first three trains at Cameron will produce about 12 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) of LNG, or roughly 1.7 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) of natural gas. One billion cubic feet of gas is enough to fuel about 5 million U.S. homes for a day.

Cameron is jointly owned by affiliates of Sempra, Total SA, Mitsui & Co Ltd, and Japan LNG Investment LLC, a company jointly owned by Mitsubishi Corp and Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK). Sempra indirectly owns 50.2% of Cameron.

McDermott International Inc and Chiyoda Corp are the lead contractors at Cameron.

Sempra has a long-term goal of exporting 45 MTPA of North American LNG and is developing a second two-train phase at Cameron, the Port Arthur LNG export terminal in Texas and plans to add export facilities in two phases at its existing Costa Azul LNG import terminal in Baja California in Mexico.

Reporting by Scott DiSavino; Editing by Lisa Shumaker