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Sabine Pass LNG train 4 starts long-term service

13 Oct 2017, 4.21 pm GMT

Sabine Pass LNG train 4 starts long-term service

Houston, 13 October (Argus) — Cheniere Energy said it has taken over operations of the fourth liquefaction train at its Sabine Pass LNG export terminal in Louisiana and placed the unit into long-term service.

Sabine Pass is scheduled to receive today record daily gas intake of 3 Bcf (85mn m³), indicating that trains 1-4 are each operating at peak production capacity. The previous record was 2.8 Bcf on 19 September.

The US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on 5 October authorized Cheniere to start long-term service at train 4 after the unit was successfully tested by producing several commissioning cargoes. Cheniere took over operations of the train 4 on 9 October from contractor Bechtel, the same day the unit was deemed to be substantially completed.

Sabine Pass gas flows have averaged 2.74 Bcf/d since 6 October, indicating the facility has been producing at about peak capacity since then. Intake had dropped to average of 2 Bcf/d on 23 September-5 October, potentially indicating that train 4 had been taken off line to make final adjustments before the start of long-term service. Cheniere has declined to comment on the lower intake. Flows averaged 2.67 Bcf/d on 15-22 September.

Cheniere is building five liquefaction trains at the $20bn Sabine Pass terminal, each with peak capacity of 5mn t/yr, equivalent to about 694mn cf/d of gas, and baseload capacity of 4.5mn t/yr, or 625mn cf/d of gas.

Trains 1-3 were successively placed into long-term service between May 2016 and March 2017. Train 5 is scheduled to come on line in the second half of 2019.

The fourth liquefaction train was financed by a 20-year contract to sell 3.5mn t/yr to Indian gas utility Gail that will start on 1 March 2018.

Until then, Cheniere can market the output from train 4 on its own.

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