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Germany's RWE Selling Half-Stake in LNG Developer Excelerate

Germany's RWE Supply & Trading GmbH is selling its 50% stake in U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) company Excelerate Energy LP to current Excelerate co-owner George B. Kaiser.

"Excelerate Energy has developed to become a very successful global provider of infrastructure based on special LNG ships with onboard regasification," said Stefan Judisch, CEO of RWE Supply & Trading. "This business is further developing into a pure LNG infrastructure business and is therefore an ever less integral part of the core activities of RWE.

"We will continue to build up RWE's LNG trading business further. Over the last few years the global LNG market has developed significantly, and therefore the possession of LNG assets is no longer a requirement for success in the trading business."

Excelerate, based in The Woodlands, TX, develops floating LNG importation facilities based on shipboard regasification technology. It has deployed eight of its Energy Bridge floating storage regasification units, two of its Gateway offshore LNG importation terminals and four dockside GasPort LNG importation terminals. The company has also developed into a global LNG marketing and trading organization active in the short-term market.

In April Excelerate affiliate Aguirre Offshore GasPort LLC filed an application at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to build a floating LNG import terminal and associated facilities to provide gas to the largest power generation facility in Puerto Rico (see Daily GPIApril 22).

RWE acquired its 50% stake in Excelerate for about $500 million in 2008. Entrepreneur Kaiser lives in Tulsa, OK, and is the principal owner of the Kaiser-Francis Oil Co., one of the largest private energy producers in the United States, and is also the majority shareholder of the Bank of Oklahoma. He is involved in upstream oil and gas exploration, gas marketing, oil field services, contract drilling and commodity trading.

 The sale requires the approval of the RWE AG board and has an effective date of June 30. The move is in line with RWE's "asset-light strategy," the company said.

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