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Thousands of jobs coming to Cameron Parish with Sempra Energy expansion

17th February 2014   ·   0 Comments

By Fritz Esker
Contributing Writer

On February 11, the U.S. Department of Energy conditionally authorized Sempra Energy to export natural gas from its Came­ron Parish facilities, a decision that is expected to lead to thousands of new jobs in Southwest Louisiana.

Octavio M.C. Simoes, president of Sempra LNG, said he expects the construction to begin on the necessary expansion of their existing facilities this year, with full completion coming in 2019. The authorization is still pending final regulatory approval and environmental review. The conditional approval allows for 1.7 billion cubic feet of domestically produced liquefied natural gas (LNG) to be exported from the facility per day. The approval grants permission for this to continue for 20 years, commencing on the date of the first export.

Sempra is expected to invest $9-10 billion in upgrades to their facility. An estimated 3000 construction jobs will be created by the expansion, as well as additional full-time jobs once the project is complete. Local legislators from both parties praised the Depart­ment of Energy’s authorization.

“The approval of an export LNG facility in Southwest Louisiana is long-overdue, but a welcome addition to the robust energy industry we are building in Louisiana,” said Democrat Sen. Mary Landrieu. “When (the expansion is) complete, Louisiana will be able to compete with foreign companies in the battle for the huge international LNG market.”

“Natural gas has created a job boom in this country, but in particular in Southwest Louisiana, and this conditional approval means the Cameron LNG project has taken an important step in the right direction,” said Republican Senate David Vitter via news release.

Both Cameron Parish officials and Sempra executives are excited about the continuation of the existing partnership between the parish and the San Diego-based Fortune 500 company.

“For more than a decade, we have enjoyed a positive relationship with community leaders and local, state and federal officials who have worked diligently to make Louisiana an attractive state in which to do business,” said Simoes. “We look forward to the continuation of this relationship.”

“The parish looks forward to the gain of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars of investments,” said Ryan Bourriaque, parish ad-ministrator for Cameron Parish.

Bourriaque added that Cameron Parish’s relationship with Sempra Energy has been a positive one to date. He praised Sempra’s charitable efforts within community, including donations to fairs, festivals and local schools.

“They’ve been a very good partner throughout their time here,” Bourriaque said.

This article originally published in the February 17, 2014 print edition of The Louisiana Weekly newspaper.

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