Cameron LNG Expansion Includes Electric Compression And Carbon Reductions

    Proposed Cameron LNG Expansion Includes Additional 6.75-MTPA Electric Motor Liquefaction Train, Adding Approximately 300 MW Of Demand To The Entergy Louisiana System

    Vessels docked at the Cameron LNG export terminal. (Image Courtesy Of Cameron LNG)

    Cameron LNG (Cameron) has entered a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Entergy Louisiana LLC (Entergy) to negotiate the terms and conditions for a new electric service agreement (ESA). The objective of the ESA is to reduce Cameron’s Scope 2 emissions, the indirect emissions most commonly from utility services like gas, electricity, and water. By comparison, Scope 1 emissions directly result from a company’s operations.

    Cameron LNG wants to revise its ESA with Entergy to ensure it is purchasing lower-carbon electricity. “Entergy is a critical partner in our efforts to reduce our overall direct and indirect greenhouse gas [GHG] emissions,” said Whit Fairbanks, president of Cameron. “Cameron LNG strives to provide its customers with LNG that has the lowest possible emissions intensity. The MoU allows us to memorialize an agreement to bring on enough renewable power to offset the emissions for our facility, including the Train 4 expansion, when all renewable generation phases are added to the supply portfolio.”

    “We’re proud to partner with Cameron LNG on this agreement,” said Phillip May, Entergy president and CEO. “Strong businesses lead to a stronger Louisiana for us all. Our customers are continuously seeking carbon-reduction options, and this is another example of us working to meet their own goals as well as our own.”

    Details Of The Deal

    Cameron said the MoU is non-binding and provides a framework for a 20-year (or longer) agreement for Cameron to procure renewable power generation in Louisiana from Entergy. The Louisiana Public Service Commission, as well as both Cameron and Entergy, would have to approve the agreement.

    Cameron mentioned that the ESA will likely include a renewable tariff option, which it will file with the Louisiana Public Service Commission in the coming months. The tariff will pair with Entergy’s Geaux Green tariff program, which has already been approved. Together, the tariffs will help reduce Scope 2 emissions.

    Clean LNG

    Located in Hackberry, Louisiana, Cameron LNG Phase 1 began construction in 2014, achieved its first commercial delivery in spring of 2019, and reached full commercial operations in August 2020. The existing facility consists of three liquefaction trains and 13.5 MTPA of export capacity. Phase 2 will add one liquefaction train for a maximum of 6.75 MTPA in additional export capacity. Cameron estimates that the expansion project will create 69 permanent jobs and require between 1500 and 3200 onsite engineering and construction workers for the duration of the build.

    Cameron LNG’s equity is split among several major LNG and shipping players, including Sempra Infrastructure, Mitsui & Co., Mitsubishi Corporation, TotalEnergies, and NYK Line. Due to ESG targets by its equity holders, it’s unsurprising that Cameron is approaching its Phase 2 expansion with a focus on lowering emissions.

    Cameron plans to use electric compression for Phase 2. The added compression is estimated to require 300 MW of demand from the Entergy system. Cameron plans to deploy electric driven motors to replace gas turbine drives, as well as tie-in facilities to enable the sequestration of carbon dioxide from the Train 4 acid gas.

    Like Cameron, Entergy has its own environmental goals. The company has been exercising voluntary climate action for more than two decades. In 2001, it was the first US electric utility to commit to voluntarily stabilizing GHG emissions. Since then, it announced a net-zero carbon emissions goal by 2050.

    Infrastructure Developments

    Infrastructure associated with the Cameron LNG terminal is also modernizing to improve performance and lower emissions. In July 2022, Texas Eastern Transmission (Texas Eastern) received a favorable environmental assessment by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for its Holbrook Compressor Station (CS) Units Replacement project, located in Greene County, Pennsylvania. Texas Eastern plans to abandon 12 existing reciprocating compressor units dating from the 1950s and replace them with two new compressor units at its existing Holbrook CS. The purpose of the project is to ensure the continued safe and reliable operation of Holbrook CS while meeting all current air emissions requirements by replacing the existing units.

    Cameron LNG has plenty of room for additional capacity installations. Phase 2 will add one liquefaction train for a maximum of 6.75 MTPA in additional export capacity. Cameron estimates that the expansion project will create 69 permanent jobs and require between 1500 and 3200 onsite engineering and construction workers for the duration of the build. (Image Courtesy Of Cameron LNG)

    Holbrook CS currently consists of 15 reciprocating compressor units totaling 58,790 hp (43,857 kW) of compression. This includes four 1350-hp (1007-kW) Cooper-Bessemer GMV-10-S 5 units, four 1350-hp Cooper-Bessemer GMVA-10 units, and four 2000-hp (1492-kW) Ingersoll-Rand KVS-412 CB units, all installed in the 1950s. These 12 units and related facilities will be abandoned and replaced with two new 9676-hp (7218-kW) Solar Taurus 70 natural gas-fired turbine units. The two new turbine units will include controls to limit the design capacity to 18,800 hp (14,024 kW), which is equivalent to the 12 reciprocating units being abandoned. The three additional units at Holbrook CS are all 13,330-hp (9922-kW) Solar Mars natural gas-fired turbine units and will not be affected by the project.

    Although the Holbrook CS is located far away from Cameron LNG, it is affiliated with the project through Sempra Infrastructure, which holds a majority 50.2% ownership of Cameron. Sempra owns the Cameron Interstate Pipeline, which is a 40-mile (64 km) natural gas pipeline in Cameron Parish, Louisiana. The pipeline was completed in 2008, but successfully expanded in 2017. The expansion included bidirectional flow from various interstate pipeline interconnections to Cameron LNG. Part of the expansion included an additional new Holbrook CS, which consisted of 7 Waukesha 16V275GL+ engines.

    Foreshadowing The Future Of LNG

    LNG continues to be one of the best growth opportunities for the gas compression industry. A focus on lowering the environmental impact of LNG export terminals and associated structures bodes well for environmentally conscious nations to purchase LNG and boost its share in their energy mixes. Producing renewable natural gas from municipal solid waste landfills, digesters at water resource recovery facilities (wastewater treatment plants), livestock farms, food production facilities, and organic waste management operations and then turning that gas into LNG lowers the overall carbon footprint of a project even further. Cameron is just one of several companies that is focusing on lowering emissions when planning capacity expansions.