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Equity Investor Putting $1.3B Into Freeport LNG

Freeport LNG Expansion LP has snagged a $1.3 billion equity investment from IFM Investors for its proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) liquefaction and export facility on Quintana Island near Freeport, TX. Funds will support development of the facility's second train.

Investment capital will be drawn down over the second train's planned 51- to 54-month construction period. The balance of the second train capital needs will be sourced from a consortium of project finance lenders, Freeport LNG said. "This announcement clearly sends a signal to the financial community about our ability to fund the planned expansion and further solidifies our ability to move forward," said Freeport LNG CEO Michael Smith.

DOE granted Freeport LNG Expansion LP and FLNG Liquefaction LLC (collectively known as FLEX) approval to export up to 0.4 Bcf/d when FLEX had been seeking approval to export 1.4 Bcf/d, in addition to a previously authorized 1.4 Bcf/d, from the proposed terminal (see Daily GPI, Nov. 21).

In February Freeport LNG executed a 20-year use-or-pay liquefaction tolling agreement with BP Energy Co. equivalent to the minimum guaranteed production capacity of the project's second train (see Daily GPI, Feb. 12).

Earlier this month, Freeport LNG awarded two contracts, each valued at $2.5 billion, to a joint venture of CB&I Inc. and Zachry Industrial Inc. to construct the first two trains of the liquefaction project. Construction start is subject to approval by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and a final investment decision by Freeport LNG, which said it expects to receive FERC approval for the initial three-train project and commence construction of the first two trains in mid-2014, with the construction of the third train expected to begin in first quarter 2015.

IFM Investors has more than $46 billion in assets under management and is owned by 30 major pension funds.

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