The proposed Calcasieu Pass 2 liquefied natural gas export terminal and pipeline project in Louisiana appears to be advancing with owner Venture Global hiring Australian-based Worley as EPC contractor. But the megaproject is still pending government approval as it faces growing opposition from environmental advocates and others. 

Worley disclosed in a Dec. 21 Australian Securities Exchange announcement that it had signed a reimbursable engineering, procurement and construction contract for the Calcasieu Pass 2 (CP2) project first phase. Earlier this year, Worley had announced that it and Venture Global agreed to substantive terms for the contract but had not then finalized details of the deal. The contractor has not shared the price of the contract, but Venture Global has said it expects to spend more than $10 billion total on CP2 and its first Calcasieu Pass project, 

The plan calls for construction of an LNG export terminal with a capacity of 20 million metric tons per year on a 546-acre site in Cameron Parish, adjacent to Venture Global’s first Calcasieu Pass terminal, which began some limited operation last year. 

The new facility, at full operation, is planned to include 18 LNG blocks for liquefying natural gas, four storage tanks and two marine loading docks. To supply it, Venture Global also wants to build 85.1 miles of 48-in.-dia pipeline and 5.9 miles of 24-inc.-dia pipeline connecting to an existing natural gas pipeline system ending in Jasper County, Texas, as well as a compressor station along the proposed pipeline route near Vinton, La. 

CP2_map_ENRweb.jpgA proposed pipeline would carry natural gas from Jasper County, Texas, to the terminal site in Cameron Parish, La. Map courtesy of Venture Global

The proposal still awaits construction authorization from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), Worley notes in its announcement. Venture Global previously said it anticipated that approval this year, but CP2 was removed. without explanation, from the agenda for FERC's final 2023 meeting on Dec. 19. Commissioners are next scheduled to meet on Jan. 18 with no agenda yet posted. Venture Global did not immediately respond to inquiries. 

“In the meantime, Worley is working with Venture Global under the EPC contract to progress the engineering, procurement and construction services required to prepare the project for construction commencement,” the contractor said in its announcement.

FERC staffers completed a final environmental impact statement for the CP-2 project in July, finding the project “would result in some adverse environmental impacts” but that most would be “less-than-significant.” They offered some mitigation measures recommended for commissioners to attach as conditions for authorization. 

The project would contribute “incrementally” to future climate change impacts from greenhouse gas emissions, FERC staff wrote, but they did not characterize these as either significant or insignificant. 

However, the planned terminal has drawn criticism from environmental advocates. A group of 170 climate scientists and others signed a letter to President Joe Biden Dec. 19 urging him to reject the CP2 proposal. 

According to the scientists, a not-yet-published study from Cornell University will show that LNG is worse for the climate than coal. They wrote that CP2 would release 20 times more heat-trapping gasses than ConocoPhilllips’ Willow oil project in Alaska, which recently began winter construction. 

“These climate-wrecking emissions are on top of prodigious amounts of toxic air pollutants, including carcinogenic benzene, released into local environments both from the LNG facilities themselves and the upstream drilling and fracking operations that feed them,” they wrote.