A ship prepares to load liquefied natural gas at the Cameron plant
A ship prepares to load liquefied natural gas at the giant Cameron facility. Courtesy Sempra Energy

A Sempra Energy subsidiary has begun exporting American natural gas from a giant liquefaction plant on the gulf coast of Louisiana.

“This is an exciting moment for Cameron LNG and for Sempra Energy,” said Carlos Ruiz Sacristan, chairman and CEO of Sempra North American Infrastructure, in announcing the beginning of shipments on Monday.

“Cameron LNG is exporting liquefied natural gas to customers in the largest world markets, helping to support economic growth in the U.S and abroad,” he added.

The first phase of the $10 billion plant, which President Trump inspected in May, can export approximately 1.7 billion cubic feet of natural gas daily.

It’s one of five LNG export projects the San Diego-based utility holding company is developing in North America because of surplus natural gas produced by the fracking revolution.

Sempra said its earnings from the plant will exceed $400 million annually when all three phases, or “trains” in the terminology of the industry, are in commercial production.

“We are proud that Cameron LNG has realized this key milestone with an excellent safety record and zero lost-time incidents,” said Lisa Glatch, chief operating officer of the Sempra LNG subsidiary. “We remain focused on safely achieving commercial operations of ‘train 2’ and ‘train 3.’”

Sempra has become one of North America’s largest developers of LNG-export facilities.

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.