UPDATE 2-Venture Global to decide on Louisiana Plaquemines LNG phase 2 by year end

·2 min read

(Adds other Venture Global projects)

May 26 (Reuters) - Venture Global LNG's chief executive on Thursday said he expects the U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) company to make a final decision to build the second phase of the Plaquemines export plant in Louisiana before the end of the year.

"We have (the second phase) largely sold out already," Michael Sabel told Reuters, noting that the company was doing a "decent amount" of work on phase 2 as part of the first phase of the project.

Venture Global made a final investment decision (FID) on Wednesday to build phase one at Plaquemines, the first U.S. LNG project to reach financial close since the company's Calcasieu Pass in Louisiana in August 2019.

The Plaquemines FID came as LNG prices around the world have soared to meet growing demand in Asia and as European countries seek more fuel to break their dependence on Russian gas after Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.

"In a very crowded global market ... (with) more than a dozen competitors in the (United States) that were here many years before us ... it's been all Venture Global (with) Calcasieu and Plaquemines," Sabel said.

Venture Global started early site work on Plaquemines, located about 20 miles (32 kilometers) south of New Orleans, in 2021. Sabel said Plaquemines should first produce LNG in 2024. nL2N2VY1BI]

"We believe that we have the lowest cost of liquefaction in the world," Sabel said, noting that since 2017, Venture Global has "won over 80% of the 20-year contracts in the United States.

"Ultimately, the customers decide" who offers the cheapest LNG, Sabel said.

Venture Global said it has 20-year agreements to sell LNG covering about 80% of the full 20-million tonnes per annum (MTPA) Plaquemines project.

In addition to Plaquemines, Sabel said Venture Global has already sold some LNG from its proposed CP2 project, which will be built next to the Calcasieu plant.

He said the company expected to start early site work on CP2 early next year with a FID expected in the middle of 2023.

"I think we'll be building CP2 fast enough that we'll be bringing it on ahead of a lot of other projects that started years ahead of us," Sabel said.

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).

(Reporting by Scott DiSavino; Editing by Kirsten Donovan and Mark POrter)

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