Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (ASX:LNG, OTCMKTS:LNGLY) has advised that the U.S. Department of Energy has revised procedures that could result in faster approval of applications to export LNG to non-Free Trade Agreement (Non-FTA) countries.
The company had in October 2013 applied for approval to export 8 million tonnes of LNG per annum from its Magnolia LNG project at Port of Lake Charles, Louisiana, to non-FTA countries.
Securing Non-FTA approval will allow the company's proposed LNG toller's to export their LNG to all major global LNG markets.
Magnolia LNG already has approval to export 8Mtpa of LNG to Free Trade Agreement (NASDAQ:FTA) countries.
"DOE reiterates that the procedural changes will enable it to focus on projects that are more likely to advance to commercial operation, referencing commencement and continued progress through and completion of the National Environmental Policy Act (OTC:NEPA) process as an indicator," managing director Maurice Brand said.
"Importantly, focusing on these real projects will aid DOE in assessing cumulative market and other impacts.
"By placing the most viable projects first based on objective factors like the completion of the robust NEPA review, DOE's new procedures ensure that such projects are not disadvantaged by the creation of an artificially high cumulative non-FTA export volume from projects that have not made significant progress towards securing authorisation for the physical export facilities."
He added that with Magnolia LNG being well advanced in the NEPA process, with the draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) expected in 2014 with the Final Environmental Impact Statement following 4 months later, the project is expected to advance more quickly to its Non-FTA authorisation.
LNG has tolling agreements covering 7Mtpa of Magnolia LNG's planned 8Mtpa capacity and is currently focused on converting the first 4Mtpa to binding status in the first half of 2014.
The U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has formally accepted its filling application for Magnolia LNG with all approvals expected during 2015 in time for financial close in the middle of the same year.
A final investment decision will be made in late 2014.
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