A consortium composed of South Korea’s national oil company KOGAS, Korean-based LG International and Houston-based EMS Group have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to operate the liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility being developed near Port Lavaca, TX, in Point Comfort.

The Port Lavaca LNG Services Consortium also agreed to participate as an equity owner in the terminal for an undisclosed amount, according to Gulf Coast LNG Partners LP (GCLP), which is developing the Calhoun LNG LP facility.

The terminal and connecting pipeline were granted draft environmental approval by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission last July (see NGI, July 3, 2006). The terminal proposes to have two 160,000 cubic meter storage tanks, which would process about 1 Bcf/d of natural gas. The proposed Point Comfort Pipeline originating at the terminal would include 27 miles of 36-inch diameter pipeline, connecting with five interstate and four intrastate pipeline systems. The project still requires final environmental clearance before a certificate of approval is issued. If final permits are obtained, construction of the facility is expected to take about three years.

“We are thrilled to bring the Port Lavaca LNG Services Consortium onto the Calhoun LNG team as their tremendous experience in LNG and operations will be a critical advantage in the success of the terminal,” said GCLP President John Godbold. “We engaged such a significant consortium in order to assure that GCLP meets and exceeds the expectations of our customers.” Houston-based GCLP was formed by Gulf Coast LNG LLC and Haddington Energy Partners II LP, a private equity fund managed by Haddington Ventures LLC.

Robert Van Borssum, port director of the Port of Port Lavaca-Point Comfort said the port authority “fully supports the Calhoun LNG project and the addition of the Port Lavaca LNG Services Consortium. We were impressed with their excellent qualifications, stellar safety record and a staffing plan which includes over 40 permanent direct operations and maintenance positions to be hired locally.” He said the board and staff of the port authority welcomed KOGAS, LG and EMS to its community.

KOGAS, short for Korea Gas Corp., was established by the Korean government in 1983. According to its website, KOGAS has grown to become the world’s largest LNG importer, and it is Korea’s only LNG provider. KOGAS operates three LNG terminals and a nationwide pipeline network. LG, which has partnered with KOGAS on LNG terminal projects in the past, is one of the largest business conglomerates in South Korea, with revenues of $96 billion in 2006. EMS Group provides operations and maintenance services to pipeline operators, local distribution companies and independent producers.

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