Kinder Morgan Inc. (NYSE: KMI) reported Thursday morning that two company subsidiaries have received authorization from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to proceed with the company’s Elba Liquefaction Project on Elba Island, near Savannah, Ga. The company also received approval to proceed with a modification project to expand the Elba Express Pipeline.
The $2 billion Elba Liquefaction Project expects to have the first of 10 liquefaction units up and running by the second quarter of 2018, with the rest entering service by the end of the year.
Kinder Morgan and the U.S. arm of Royal Dutch Shell PLC (NYSE: RDS-A) were partners in the project until last year, when Kinder Morgan acquired Shell’s 49% stake, along with a 20-year agreement from Shell to purchase the full production of all 10 units. The project’s planned capacity is about 2.5 million metric tons of LNG annually, or about 350 million cubic feet per day.
The Elba Express pipeline expansion is forecast to cost $306 million and includes more compressors and related work for a north-to-south capacity expansion to supply additional gas to industries and utilities in Georgia and Florida and to carry more gas to the Elba Island liquefaction facilities.
An LNG import terminal was built on Elba Island in the 1970s and was operated as an import terminal until booming natural gas production in the United States made it economically feasible for the country to become an exporter of natural gas in the form of LNG.
The first shipment of LNG from the United States left Cheniere Energy Inc.’s (NYSEMKT: LNG) Sabine Pass facility offshore of Louisiana earlier this year. Sabine Pass is expected to produce about 22.5 million metric tons of LNG annually, and a second Cheniere export terminal near Corpus Christi, Texas, with a capacity of 9 million metric tons is scheduled to open in late 2018.
Kinder Morgan stock traded at around $17.92, down about 0.2%, in the early afternoon Wednesday. The stock’s 52-week range is $11.20 to $40.79 and the consensus price target is $20.79.