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The decision to break ground on a liquefied natural gas export project is a momentous move for the sponsors, a multibillion-dollar stake on their futures. Reaching what the industry calls a "final investment decision" takes time, money and tight coordination between multiple parties working on different parts of a project.
Sponsors and financial backers want to make sure they've done their due diligence.
After all, more than 90 percent of project costs — the money for production modules, compressors, pipe, motors, installation and construction — are incurred after the final investment decision.
That decision is a big breakthrough in a risky and uncertain multi-year process.