LNG import terminal developer Cheniere Energy said an affiliate, J&S Cheniere S.A., has signed a 10-year time charter agreement for a third LNG cargo ship with a joint venture of Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Ltd. (K-Line), Shoei Kisen Kaisha and other companies. The new 154,200-cubic-meter LNG ship is being constructed by Imabari Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. and is expected to be delivered in the fourth quarter of 2007. K-Line will provide ship management services.

Cheniere is planning to build at least five LNG import terminals along the Gulf Coast of the United States. It has two LNG import terminals planned in Brownsville, TX, and on Pinto Island in Mobile Bay, AL. Two other projects at Corpus Christi, TX, and Sabine Pass, LA, are pending at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and the Freeport LNG terminal, which is being built by Cheniere, Contango and ConocoPhillips, already has been approved by FERC.

“We received the draft environmental impact statement for our Sabine Pass LNG receiving terminal three weeks ago indicating no significant impediments for granting of our permits to commence construction of the facilities,” noted Cheniere CEO Charif Souki. “We believe we are on track to break ground in the first quarter of 2005 and to be in service in late 2007 or early 2008. The state of Louisiana is sponsoring an effort to organize a group of the state’s natural gas buyers to benefit from the terminal and the access it provides to the world’s gas market. Our affiliate J&S Cheniere is now positioning itself to be able to provide shipping services to complement the terminal.”

J&S Cheniere S.A. was formed in August 2003 for the purpose of buying, selling and trading LNG. Cheniere’s partner in the venture, J&S Services and Investment, is a private corporation engaged in petroleum commodity trading. Although it is affiliated with Cheniere it has been capitalized independently and Cheniere is not exposed to any liabilities resulting from the activities of the venture, the company said.

In August of 2003, J&S chartered its first LNG vessel, the Tenaga Empat, which has been actively transporting LNG cargoes into the U.S. and Europe. On Aug. 25, J&S signed a time charter agreement with K-Line to charter its second vessel, a new 145,000 cubic meter LNG ship being constructed by Kawasaki Shipbuilding Corp. for delivery in the fourth quarter 2007.

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