FERC Suspends Schedule for Venture Global’s Gas Plant, Pipeline Project in Louisiana

(Reuters) — The U.S. energy regulator has suspended the environmental review schedule for Venture Global LNG's proposed CP2 LNG export plant and pipeline in Louisiana.

The U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) said late Wednesday its staff suspended the schedule because "a number of responses to data requests remain outstanding."

FERC’s decision to suspend CP2’s environmental review follows the announcement of their “environmental equity plan,” released earlier this year, which promises to incorporate environmental justice concerns and impacted communities into their decision making.

Venture Global, however, said the FERC continues to work on the CP2 application.

"Venture Global is working hard to complete outstanding regulatory deliverables for CP2," Venture Global spokesperson Shaylyn Hynes said in an email.

"We appreciate that FERC continues to process CP2 and remain committed to satisfying the Commission's regulatory requirements," Hynes said.

Venture Global has said it planned to make a final investment decision (FID) to build CP2 in mid-2023 with first LNG expected in 2026. 

Analysts at ClearView Energy Partners LLC, a consulting firm, said the FERC action was noteworthy because "Congressional overseers have levied strong criticism at FERC ... for not approving LNG and pipeline projects ... in a sufficiently timely manner since 2021."

ClearView also noted that CP2 appears to be a viable project that has been identified as a supplier in a 20-year contract with German energy company EnBW Energie Baden Wuerttemberg AG. 

The Biden administration has made it a priority to supply Europe with more natural gas via LNG exports as the European Union weans itself off Russian energy after Moscow's Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine. 

CP2 is designed to produce about 20 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) of LNG. It will be located next to Venture Global's existing Calcasieu Pass export plant in Louisiana.

In total, Venture Global has about 70 MTPA of LNG export capacity in operation, construction or development in Louisiana, including the 10-MTPA Calcasieu (operation and construction), 20-MTPA Plaquemines (construction), 20-MTPA Delta (development) and 20-MTPA CP2 (development).

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