On March 3, Sempra Energy and Bechtel Oil, Gas and Chemicals Inc. signed a fixed-price engineering, procurement and construction contract for Sempra’s Port Arthur liquefied natural gas project.

While pricing details of the contract were not disclosed, multiple reports have suggested the Port Arthur LNG project will cost between $8 billion and $9 billion.

The project will be located on nearly 3,000 acres of land along three miles of the Sabine-Neches waterway and could become one of the largest LNG export projects in North America, with expansion capabilities of up to eight liquefaction trains and approximately 45 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) of capacity, according to Sempra. The initial capacity will be 13.5 Mtpa of LNG, with two liquefaction trains, two LNG storage tanks, a marine berth and associated loading facilities and related infrastructure.

Sempra LNG and Aramco Services Company, a subsidiary of Saudi Aramco, signed an agreement in January for the potential purchase of 5 Mtpa of LNG and a 25% equity investment in the project. In December 2018, Port Arthur LNG also entered into an agreement with Polish Oil and Gas Co. for the sale and purchase of 2 Mtpa of LNG per year.

Construction will begin after Sempra reaches a final investment decision, which is expected this year. First LNG production is scheduled to begin by 2023, according to Sempra.

The firm expects that that the project will generate about 5,000 construction jobs at peak.