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American LNG Impacting SWLA and the World

Posted by: Eric Cormier on Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Current headlines in the business and geo-political realm should convince residents in Southwest Louisiana that this region’s expanding LNG  infrastructure is more important than we may think.

Before COVID and natural disasters impacted the five parish area, our economy was booming as a result was  of a number of multi-million and billion dollar construction projects directly related to the LNG industry.

New construction is beginning anew on additional LNG facilities with others awaiting final approvals.

The creation of jobs in the industry continues along with business owners obtaining contracts to provide services to the LNG companies.

But the regional community may not always understand the industry and what is at stake locally and nationally as a result of LNG exporting.

The Center for Liquefied Natural Gas (lngfacts.org) provides data and information about the industry. What follows could be considered an LNG 101.

The Alliance/Chamber SWLA recommends business leaders and residents in the area to read about the LNG industry and study it. Our area is the tip of the nation’s sphere in LNG expansion and energy independence.

WHAT IS LNG

Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is natural gas that has been cooled to about -260 degrees Fahrenheit, which reduces its volume and makes it easier to transport.

  • Liquefying natural gas reduces its volume so much that some of the largest ships that transport U.S. LNG to our international trading partners can carry enough natural gas to power 70,000 homes for one year.

Once at its destination, LNG is regasified and made available for a variety of uses.

  • Most commonly, it supplies natural gas to power plants to generate electricity or provides fuel for heating and cooking in residences and businesses.
  • It is also used to manufacture steel, glass, paper, brick and many other products.
  • Natural gas is also used as a raw material in common products such as medical equipment, paint, fertilizer, cosmetics and plastics.

THE LNG JOURNEY

  • Natural gas travels by pipeline to a liquefaction facility.
  • Molecules that freeze at low temperatures, like water, carbon dioxide and heavier hydrocarbons, are then removed.
  • The remaining gas is cooled to about -260 degrees Fahrenheit, at which point the gas becomes a liquid.
  • The LNG is then loaded onto LNG cargo ships for transport. Some of the largest LNG ships or tankers can carry enough natural gas to power 70,000 homes for one year.
  • When the LNG reaches an offloading facility, it may be “warmed” or regasified and then transported by pipeline to power plants for use in power generation; or to industrial facilities to manufacture goods; or homes and office buildings for heating, cooking and drying clothes.

AMERICA’S LNG OPPORTUNITY

America’s vast abundance of natural gas has positioned us among the world’s leading exporters.  We began to export LNG internationally in 2016 and the U.S. is now the world’s 3rd largest exporter.

LNG exports create economic opportunity, revenues and jobs here at home, while raising people out of energy poverty internationally and making their air cleaner and easier to breathe.

  • In just a few short years, the U.S. has become the world’s third-largest LNG exporter by volume, providing cleaner, affordable, abundant energy to more than 35 countries.
  • As of January 2022, North America has six existing LNG export facilities, another seven approved by FERC and under construction, and an additional 15 that have received FERC approval but have not started construction.

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