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The Cameron LNG facility. Image courtesy of Cameron LNG.

The Cameron LNG facility won final authorization from the U.S. Energy Department Thursday to export domestically produced liquefied natural gas to countries that do not have free trade agreements with the United States.

San Diego-based Sempra Energy, France’s GDF SUEZ and Japanese companies Mitsui & Co. and Mitsubishi Corporation, through a joint venture with Japan-based Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha, are funding the project.

The facility is located in Hackberry, Louisiana.

The total project cost is estimated at approximately $10 billion, including the contribution of existing Cameron LNG facilities, construction of new facilities and financing cost.

Cameron will have three train natural gas liquefaction facilities and an export capacity of 12 million tonnes per annum of LNG, or approximately 1.7 billion cubic feet per day.

All three trains are expected to start operations in 2018.

Gas processed at the facility will be exported to Europe and Japan.

Cameron will also have bi-directional capabilities to export or import LNG based on changing market conditions.

The financing commitments for the project total $7.4 billion and will be provided by the Japan Bank for International Cooperation, Japan’s Nippon Export and Investment Insurance and a group of 29 commercial banks.

Construction is expected to begin in late 2014.

The facility won approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in June.