A new liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant and export terminal will be built near Lake Charles, Louisiana, under plans announced by Live Oak LNG and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal.

The company is planning to invest up to $2 billion in the project, which will include a plant with the capacity to produce up to five million tonnes of LNG per annum, together with two storage tanks capable of holding 130,000 cubic meters of LNG and port facilities to accommodate standard-sized LNG carriers.

The proposed site covers about 350 acres and is situated on the west bank of the Calcasieu Ship Channel, which connects the Lake Charles industrial region to global markets via the Gulf of Mexico.

Live Oak LNG has started preliminary study work and said that it will begin the permitting process within the next few weeks. If all goes to plan, the facility is anticipated to start operating in late 2019.

Governor Jindal welcomed the announcement and stressed the potential economic benefits for the region. He said that the project will create 100 new direct jobs at the liquefaction and export facility, as well as 385 new indirect jobs. During construction, the project will generate an estimated 1,000 construction jobs at peak building activity.

"This investment by Live Oak LNG is a welcome addition to the wealth of major industrial projects in Southwest Louisiana that are capitalizing on our state's energy infrastructure and our outstanding, skilled workforce. The global demand for affordable, American-produced liquefied natural gas is on the rise, and Calcasieu Parish is ideally situated to serve that market with its deepwater ports and access to natural gas supplies," Jindal added.