Sempra Energy has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on Mitsui & Co. potentially entering LNG projects in the US and Mexico.
The agreement could see Mitsui sign up to offtake agreements from a second phase at Cameron LNG, in addition to supplies from the Energia Costa Azul (ECA) project and an equity stake. The MoU is non-binding.
The Japanese company might purchase up to one third of second phase production from Cameron LNG, which would be 3.29 million tonnes per year. This would come in addition to 1mn tpy from ECA LNG.
The deal with Mitsui “signals continued momentum” in US LNG export plans, in particular for Sempra’s geographical position in North America, said Sempra LNG’s president Justin Bird. “We are pleased to expand our relationship with Mitsui and advance the development of both LNG projects.”
The COO of Mitsui’s energy business unit Motoyasu Nozaki said the agreement “will contribute to expanding Mitsui’s uniquely diversified supply portfolio worldwide by utilising the strengths and capabilities of both companies”.
The Cameron LNG Phase 2 project involves two trains, which would be the fourth and fifth at the facility, with 9.97mn tpy of expected capacity. This would take total project output to 24.92mn tpy. It also involves two additional LNG storage tanks. Approval for this was secured in July 2016. The first train started producing in August, while the second and third will begin in the first half of 2020.
The Japanese company signed a tolling agreement for the facility in 2013, representing around 4mn tpy of LNG capacity for 20 years. It also took a 16.6% stake in the project.
ECA LNG is a plan driven by Sempra’s Mexican subsidiary, IEnova. The first phase involves a single train, with 2.4mn tpy of capacity. Additional phases might increase production to around 12mn tpy. In November 2018, Sempra and Mitsui struck a heads of agreement (HoA) on the potential supply of 800,000 tpy from ECA LNG Phase 1, for 20 years.
At the same time as the November 2018 HoA, Sempra also signed preliminary deals with Tokyo Gas and Total, covering the remainder of first phase production from ECA LNG. Sempra has also signed an HoA with Saudi Aramco, in May, on the Port Arthur LNG export plan. This sketched out plans for Aramco to offtake 5mn tpy of LNG and take a 25% equity stake in the first phase.