The Export-Import Bank of the United States Thursday approved a loan guarantee of up to $930 million to support the export of U.S. goods and services to Qatar Liquefied Gas Co. Ltd. II to build an LNG project and related offshore and onshore facilities in Qatar.

U.S. exporters participating in the sale include Air Products & Chemicals, ExxonMobil Development, KBR, and J. Ray McDermott. “This transaction will create and sustain an enormous number of jobs at U.S. sub-suppliers throughout the country,” said Ex-Im Bank Chairman Philip Merrill.

The transaction is structured as a limited recourse project financing, a type of private financing where repayment is based on project revenues. Barclays Bank Plc is the guaranteed lender. Qatargas II is a special purpose company owned 70% by Qatar Petroleum, the state oil and gas company of Qatar, and 30% by Exxon Mobil Corp. (see Daily GPI, Oct. 17, 2003).

Ex-Im Bank support covers a portion of the 15.6 million metric tons-per-annum LNG project, which overall is expected to cost over $7 billion. The project involves production of natural gas offshore from Qatar’s North Field, two gas liquefaction units, off-take infrastructure at the Ras Laffan Industrial City, LNG ships, and an LNG regasification terminal at Milford Haven in the UK.

Ex-Im Bank has supported two previous Qatar LNG projects, the Qatargas and Ras Laffan projects, both in 1996. The bank this year marks its 71st year of helping finance the sale of U.S. exports, primarily to emerging markets throughout the world, by providing loan guarantees, export credit insurance, and direct loans. In fiscal year 2003, Ex-Im Bank, an independent federal agency, authorized financing to support $14.3 billion of U.S. exports worldwide.

A Florida Power & Light affiliate has signed a conditional agreement for 800,000 MMBtu/d, or about six million tons per year of LNG to be delivered from Qatar to a proposed LNG and regasification terminal at South Riding Point on Grand Bahama Island. The LNG would be delivered over a 25-year period beginning in mid-2008 (see Daily GPI, July 28).

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