Venture Global LNG has made the final investment decision (FID) for the first phase development of its proposed Plaquemines liquefied natural gas (LNG) export plant on the Louisiana coast.

The project marks one of the largest new LNG export plants on the US Gulf Coast and the first of its kind to be approved since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which triggered European countries to secure more US energy supplies.

In March 2022, the US agreed to increase LNG supplies to European nations in the coming years to help reduce their dependence on Russian gas.

Venture Global also closed $13.2bn in financing for the initial development phase of the Plaquemines LNG facility, which includes associated Gator Express pipeline development.

This move marks the world’s largest project-financing transaction this year, the firm said.

Being built in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana, approximately 20 miles south of New Orleans, the Plaquemines LNG project is expected to have an export capacity of up to 20 million metric tonnes per annum (MTPA).

Venture Global LNG CEO Mike Sabel said: “The Venture Global team is proud to announce FID on our second project, Plaquemines LNG, just months after exports began at Calcasieu Pass.

“Plaquemines will build on the success of Calcasieu Pass, which broke global records for speed and execution. The project has attracted robust financial and commercial support, which has enabled us to formally sanction this project at a critical moment for energy markets.”

The US-based firm also signed LNG sales and purchase agreements for 80% of the project’s full capacity.

Customers signed up for LNG from the first 13.33Mtpa phase at the Plaquemines project include China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC), Sinopec, Electricite de France (EDF), Shell, and Polish Oil and Gas Co (PGNiG).

The Plaquemines’ second phase customers include ExxonMobil, Petronas, and New Fortress Energy.

Venture Global said it is also undertaking marketing work for its proposed CP2 plant, which would be the firm’s third export facility in Louisiana.

With 20Mtpa of nameplate liquefaction capacity and a peak capacity of approximately 24Mtpa, the project is being developed by Venture Global CP2 LNG and Venture Global CP Express, both wholly owned subsidiaries of Venture Global LNG.

Earlier this month, Venture Global signed two long-term deals to supply LNG to ExxonMobil LNG Asia Pacific (EMLAP).