Source: Grain LNG terminal
Source: Grain LNG terminal

Venture Global makes first overseas LNG investment

Venture Global will have access to 3 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) of LNG storage and regasification capacity at the Isle of Grain LNG receiving terminal for 16 years from 2029 – marking its first investment in LNG infrastructure outside the US.

The long-term terminal use agreement enables the regasification and sale of LNG from all of Venture Global’s terminals in Louisiana, including CP2 LNG, subject to obtaining necessary federal permits. The volume is equivalent to 5% of average UK gas demand.

It marks the second agreement from Grain LNG’s auction process which was launched in September 2023, and secures the future of Europe’s largest LNG import terminal into the mid 2040s.

Currently undergoing a significant expansion, Grain LNG will soon have enough regasification capacity to service approximately one third of the UK’s gas demand, serving as a gateway to the UK energy market as well as the broader European region. The UK has recently seen a significant rise in LNG imports as Europe has diversified its LNG sources.

With volumes across its Calcasieu Pass, Plaquemines LNG and CP2 LNG projects, Venture Global’s ‘flexibility and access’ will be critical to the UK and Europe’s efforts to replace LNG volumes from other suppliers. To date, Venture Global has exported about 75% of its cargoes to Europe.

Commenting on its first investment in LNG infrastructure outside the US, Mike Sabel, CEO of Venture Global, said, “The Grain LNG terminal is an important gateway to the broader European market, and we look forward to supplying the region through this new access point for years to come.”

Katie Jackson, President of National Grid Ventures, said, “LNG imports play a critical role in making sure the whole of the UK has the gas it needs, when it needs it, providing a flexible and reliable supply of gas to heat peoples’ homes.”

The US LNG industry has been thrown into turmoil following the DOE’s announcement to introduce a ‘temporary pause’ on US LNG export applications, in a move criticised as ‘short sighted and damaging’ by the Center for LNG, and weakens US relations with its allies.

The US is the premier exporter of LNG worldwide, shipping 83 million tonnes last year, with volumes expected to double by the end of this decade.

More than 70 million tonnes per year (mmtpa) in baseload capacity is under construction at Golden Pass, Corpus Christi Stage 3, Plaquemines, Port Arthur and Rio Grande.

Critics argue that expanded LNG exports will extend the pathway for fossil fuels, particularly methane, encourage more domestic exploration and production, and undermine climate commitments.

European countries boosted LNG imports by 60% in 2022 to make up for declining pipeline gas shipments from Russia, according to the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA).

New LNG terminals could boost the continent’s import capacity by one-third by the end of 2024, but Europe’s energy transition targets mean much of the new capacity could remain unused.

IEEFA believes investments in cost-competitive energy alternatives will undermine global LNG demand growth in the next several years, just as a ‘tidal wave’ of new projects come on stream.

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