Cheniere Energy Partners LP has struck commitments for $3.4 billion to fund the costs of developing, constructing and placing into service the first two liquefaction trains of the Sabine Pass LNG liquefaction project, it said. Sabine Pass Liquefaction is finalizing definitive loan documents with lenders and is working on commitments of about $200 million with additional institutions. The credit facility is expected to be closed by the end of the month. "Including the recently announced $2 billion of equity commitments [see Daily GPI, May 25], we have now received financial commitments of approximately $5.4 billion for the construction of trains 1 and 2 of our liquefaction project," said CEO Charif Souki. "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..." Sabine Pass is the only proposed U.S. liquefaction project to have been granted authority to export to non-free trade agreement countries (see Daily GPI, April 17).

Chicago-based Navigant Consulting Inc. expanded its energy practice capabilities, acquiring Colorado-based Pike Research, an energy focused market intelligence services firm. Pike Managing Director Clint Wheelock said there is a "strong complementary relationship" between Pike and Navigant's energy consulting expertise. As part of Navigant, Pike expects to "significantly expand" its research offerings and capabilities in the energy industry, said Wheelock, who will stay in place to oversee Pike's work. He described Navigant's energy consulting relationships as "deep" with gas and electric utilities, pipeline companies and independent power providers and marketers.

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