Energy Business

Cheniere Lands $3.4 Billion Credit Facility to Build Natural Gas Export Facility

Cheniere Energy Partners L.P. (NYSEMKT: CQP) has announced today that its has signed “firm financial commitments” for about $3.4 billion to develop, build, and put into service the first two natural gas liquefaction plants (called ‘trains’) at the company’s Sabine Pass liquefied natural gas (LNG) liquefaction facility. Originally constructed to receive imported LNG and re-convert the stuff to natural gas, the Sabine Pass project has received regulatory approval to process domestic natural gas into LNG for export.

The company has firm commitments for 16 million metric tons per year from 4 large customers. The Sabine Pass project calls for 4 LNG trains, each capable of producing 4.5 million tons annually.

In today’s announcement Cheniere Energy said it plans to withdraw a syndicated $1.25 billion term loan facility. Including about $2 billion in ‘equity commitments,’ Cheniere now has received $5.4 billion to pay for the first two LNG trains. The estimated cost for the first two trains is $3.9 billion. The company’s CEO said:

Our ability to access a very large credit facility will significantly reduce our costs of financing during construction. We expect to reach a final investment decision and issue notice to proceed to Bechtel upon meeting all conditions precedent under the financial agreements, including, but not limited to, completion of the financing process with the Lenders and having all regulatory approvals in full force and effect.

Cheniere Energy shares are up 3.3% at $24.17 in a 52-week range of $11.52-$27.47. Parent company Cheniere Energy Inc. (NYSEMKT: LNG) is up 11.8% at $15.83 in a 52-week range of $3.17-$18.92.

Paul Ausick