In May, the U.S. Energy Dept. approved plans by Cheniere Energy Partners, Houston, to expand its Sabine Pass Liquefied Natural Gas terminal to export domestically produced LNG to any country in which trade is permissible. Cheniere is planning to spend about $2 billion to expand the terminal. The owner will add equipment to clean up the gas from domestic pipelines and cool it to 260ºF. The company has scheduled construction to begin next year and selected San Francisco-based Bechtel as contractor. DOE will allow Cheniere to export up to 800 billion cu ft a year.
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.