Construction activities for Phase I of the Port Arthur LNG project are under way as Bechtel has begun site preparation and land clearing for the massive $13 billion project. Full coverage of this story is on page 38.
(X/Sergio Chapa photo)
Major earth work operations are ongoing at the massive construction site for the $13 billion Phase 1 of the LNG terminal that Bechtel is constructing for Sempra Infrastructure, a unit of Sempra Energy, in Port Arthur along the Texas coast, a project that is expected to be completed over the next several years.
Earth work and site prep began in 2022, with construction starting after the full notices were given to proceed on engineering, procurement and construction (EPC).
The construction site is a hive of activity, with the area divided into subsections, each with their own functions. Many of the subsections have large crawler cranes at work. Operators also are utilizing excavators, backhoes, dump trucks, dozers and other large pieces of iron.
Construction activities included site preparation; Entergy Substation pad construction; dredging for Pioneer Docks and MOF; test piling; monitoring, maintaining and documenting stabilization efforts for the currently completed facilities and all newly disturbed project areas.
The construction activity summary noted that ground disturbing activities were conducted in relation to future project facilities and construction of the future Entergy Substation pad and access roads continued.
Bechtel continued to mobilize equipment and personnel to the project site, conduct safety and environmental training, conduct clearing and grubbing activities, soil stabilization and dewatering of inundated areas, according to the project report.
With ample space, crews are able to pursue their schedules and they have plenty of room to set up piles of earth and rock that is collected on a regular basis. Earth work crews are preparing the sites for the installation of pipes and underground infrastructure and future buildings with concrete foundations.
Equipment paired with GPS ensures that specifications for foundations are met. The facility, which has many components, are linked via pipes, electrical systems and safety features to deal with emergencies. The internal road network, which is being laid out, will ensure that personnel can access various buildings and storage sites.
The construction schedule is based on phases to maximize areas for layout yards, materials storage facilities, field offices and other construction needs. The temporary construction roads reflect the plan of attack. The work site itself is close to existing port facilities and gas and oil storage tanks.
As the work site is adjacent to the Gulf of Mexico, it could be impacted by hurricanes and Bechtel has developed plans to deal with hurricane evacuations and shutting down construction when storms do hit the area.
"We're proud to partner with Sempra to deliver a world-class LNG facility," said Brendan Bechtel, chairman/CEO of Bechtel. "Building from mature, scalable energy technologies helps safeguard our energy supplies and promote the transition to lower-carbon energy. Bechtel has a record of delivering LNG infrastructure on the U.S. Gulf Coast and bringing quality jobs and training opportunities to local communities. The 5,000 construction jobs this project creates will provide outstanding opportunities for craft professionals — growing a skilled workforce that will benefit the region for years to come."
Site preparation — site clearing, grubbing, stripping, soil stabilization activities, piling and maintenance of ECD's — is moving ahead. In preparation for later work, Bechtel has received deliveries of concrete piles by road and water and has started driving piles in areas of the Train 1 main pipe rack.
Dredging and survey activities have been completed at Pioneer Dock 1 and dredging began at the MOF area. The project also includes the construction of roads and a future Entergy substation pad, which have already commenced.
Since securing the project, the engineering and construction giant awarded Port Arthur LNG contracts to Air Products, Elliott, and Great Lakes Dredge & Dock.
The monthly status report provides a good summary of the work that is being done.
"Construction related activities during the reporting period included maintenance and site clearing, grubbing, stripping activities, and hauling spoil materials offsite," it stated. "Additionally, dewatering of these areas continued. Construction of the future Entergy Substation and access roads continued. Mobilization to the site continued by Bechtel personnel. Environmental and safety training was conducted for all new personnel, prior to site construction activities. Site environmental inspections continued. One environmental noncompliance was issued. No safety or lost time accidents occurred during the reporting period. PALNG hosted a community wide ‘meet and greet' event for citizens and vendors in the Port Arthur/Sabine Pass area that was very well attended. The site received approximately 8.2 inches of rain during April."
Project permits are being approved.
"PALNG continued working with FERC staff regarding a variance request for the relocation of a concrete batch plant to the Lease Dock area," stated the report. "PALNG submitted a nationwide Permit No.13 preconstruction notification application to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-Galveston District for approval of a design modification to the south loading berth."
PALNG personnel ensured compliance with permit conditions.
The safety of the crews is a high priority for Bechtel.
"Minor, non-reportable safety incidents occurred during this reporting period," stated the report. "However, there were no health-related issues, landowner complaints, agency inspections, or reportable spills for this reporting period. One environmental noncompliance was issued, and corrective actions taken. PALNG will continue to inspect construction related activities per the PALNG Environmental Plan."
Busy days have more than 100 Bechtel and subcontractor employees on-site. Local and regional subcontractors are being brought in.
With so much equipment on-site, Bechtel and its subcontractors are keen to ensure they operate efficiently and that repairs are completed rapidly. The large work site allows for the establishment of maintenance yards to do repairs and store replacement parts.
About Port Arthur LNG
Port Arthur LNG (PALNG) will be a natural gas liquefaction and export terminal in Southeast Texas with direct access to the Gulf of Mexico. Its facilities shall include two natural gas liquefaction trains capable of producing, under optimal conditions, up to approximately 13.5 mtpa in the aggregate, or approximately 698 billion cubic feet of natural gas per year; two liquefied natural gas (LNG) storage tanks; port facilities, including two marine berths for LNG vessel berthing and loading of LNG; natural gas liquids and refrigerant storage; feed gas pre-treatment; truck loading and unloading areas; combustion turbine generators for self-generation of electrical power; and the construction of new natural gas pipelines to deliver natural gas to the terminal. CEG
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