With debt and equity financing of about $11 billion confirmed, the first two trains of the Freeport LNG natural gas liquefaction and export facility on Quintana Island near Freeport, TX, are cleared for construction, Freeport LNG Expansion LP said Tuesday.
The project of FLNG Liquefaction LLC and FLNG Liquefaction 2 LLC represents the largest fully non-recourse construction project financing ever, the companies said. “Commitments in excess of the anticipated $9.64 billion in project costs, inclusive of financing costs, provide significant buffer for contingencies and cost overruns to ensure successful completion.”
Freeport LNG has issued a full notice to proceed to CB&I Inc. and Zachry Industrial Inc. to construct the first two liquefaction trains. Financing and commencement of construction on the third liquefaction train is expected in second quarter 2015. The first train is expected to start operations in third quarter 2018, with the second train expected to commence operations five months thereafter.
For the first train, $4.369 billion in debt financing is being provided by Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) and six commercial banks (see Daily GPI,Oct. 30).
For the second train, $4.025 billion in debt financing is being provided by a syndicate of 25 commercial banks under a seven-year mini-perm construction facility. IFM Investors is committed to invest $1.3 billion in equity for development of the second train.
Earlier in November Freeport LNG received final approvals for the three-train facility from the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the U.S. Department of Energy (see Daily GPI, Nov. 14).
Macquarie Capital is serving as Freeport LNG’s sole financial adviser with respect to the financing for the project. White & Case is serving as Freeport LNG’s finance counsel. Credit Suisse served as global coordinator with respect to the train two debt financing.
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