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Construction starts on Cameron LNG plant

Facility scheduled for gas exports by 2018.

By Daniel J. Graeber
Construction starts on Cameron LNG plant
Ground broken on Louisiana plant designed for liquefied natural gas exports. (UPI/Shutterstock/tcly)

HACKBERRY, La., Oct. 24 (UPI) -- Construction began in Louisiana on a plant cleared to export around 1.7 billion cubic feet of U.S. natural gas per day, joint venture partners said.

Officials from the consortium led by Sempra Energy and Japan's Mitsubishi Corp. were on hand for the groundbreaking ceremony in Hackberry, La., for the Cameron liquefied natural gas project.

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"We look forward to 2018 when the first LNG cargo is loaded and on its way to global markets," Farhad Ahrabi, chief executive officer at Cameron LNG, said in a Thursday statement.

Development group Cameron LNG said the Hackberry plant represents a $10 billion investment. Once completed, it will be able to export 12 million tons of LNG, or around 1.7 billion cubic feet per day.

The groups behind the project have export deals with several Asian countries. Critics of U.S.-sourced LNG say it will lead to more hydraulic fracturing, the controversial drilling technique behind the shale oil and gas boom in North America.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued its final environmental impact statement on the Cameron LNG facility in early May. The construction and operation of the facility would result in some environmental damage, but that damage would be rendered "less-than-significant" by the group's proposed mitigation strategies, FERC said.

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