Japan’s largest power producer, Jera Co. Inc., is acquiring a 25.7% stake in the Freeport liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal in Texas for $2.5 billion as it looks to secure more of the super-chilled fuel amid skyrocketing prices and to help meet climate targets.
Investment firm Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP), which acquired the stake in 2015, is selling its interest in Freeport. The firm said Monday that it would buy a 49% non-operating interest in Woodside Petroleum Ltd.’s Scarborough LNG expansion project in Western Australia.
Jera already holds a 25% stake in one liquefaction train at Freeport. The new stake the company is acquiring would involve it in all three trains at the terminal. The deal comes during a tight market, where supply shortages, inclement weather and rebounding demand have pushed prices to record highs this year.
“Securing a stable supply of LNG is becoming increasingly important as we witness sharp price increases around the world,” said Jera Americas Inc. CEO Steven Winn.
Japan is one of the world’s largest LNG importers. Demand for decarbonization and stable energy supplies is also growing across Asia and natural gas is expected to play a key role. Jera has been working to cut carbon dioxide emissions from its domestic and overseas businesses by 2050.
“As global energy needs continue to grow, there is a push toward a low-carbon future,” said Freeport CEO Michael Smith. “We are privileged to play a leading role in fulfilling both of these objectives.”
Located on Quintana Island, near Freeport, the terminal has the capacity to produce 15 million metric tons/year (mmty) of LNG. Jera said it would work with Freeport to advance another 5 mmty train at the terminal, which is expected to be sanctioned next year.
GIP said it also sees a growing need for low-carbon fuels across Asia, one reason for its investment in Woodside’s project, which includes expanding Pluto LNG with the construction of a second liquefaction train to produce 5 mmty from the Scarborough gas field offshore. Australia is a major LNG supplier to Asia.
GIP has agreed to fund 49% of capital expenditures in addition to $835 million of construction costs. Woodside is targeting net-zero emissions at Pluto by 2050.
“We are particularly attracted to the modern and efficient technologies Woodside has adopted, making LNG from Pluto Train 2 one of the lowest carbon intensity sources of LNG delivered into Asia,” said GIP Managing Partner Adebayo Ogunlesi. “We fully support Woodside’s net-zero emissions targets for Pluto LNG including Pluto Train 2, and all its wider commitments to the community.”
Woodside plans to make a final investment decision on the expansion by the end of this year and is targeting first LNG by 2026.
© 2021 Natural Gas Intelligence. All rights reserved.
ISSN © 1532-1231 | ISSN © 2577-9877 | ISSN © 1532-1266 |