Asian firms invest in Cheniere's LNG facility in Cameron Parish
Cheniere Energy has reduced Blackstone's $2 billion investment in its Sabine Pass LNG terminal in Cameron Parish and shifted the equity ownership to two Asian investment firms as part of an effort to diversify its stake in the project, Cheniere spokesman Andrew Ware says. As reported by The Houston Chronicle, Temasek and RRJ Capital have agreed to make a combined $468 million equity investment in Cheniere. Blackstone's commitment to the project was reduced to $1.5 billion. The Sabine Pass liquefaction project is expected to be the first terminal in the lower 48 states to export liquefied natural gas. The demand for natural gas in Asia is surging, creating a more lucrative market for the fuel overseas. In addition to investments from the Asian firms, Cheniere says it's discussing a strategic partnership with Temasek and RRJ Capital to develop sales and marketing opportunities in Asia. "Temasek and RRJ Capital would enhance the further development of our LNG business through their expertise and experience in investments, marketing and trading in Asian markets," says Cheniere CEO Charif Souki. Capital costs for the first phase of the Sabine Pass project are expected to be about $5 billion, funded through debt and equity issuings. The investment deal with Blackstone "remains in good standing, and we are still working to finalize it," Ware says, adding the project's financing plan is expected to be complete within the next month. The first LNG exports are expected to leave the terminal near the end of 2015.
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