Cheniere Energy Partners, L.P. ("Cheniere Partners") (NYSE Amex: CQP) announced Monday that its subsidiary, Sabine Pass Liquefaction, LLC ("Sabine Liquefaction"), has entered into a liquefied natural gas ("LNG") sale and purchase agreement ("SPA") with Korea Gas Corporation ("KOGAS") under which KOGAS has agreed to purchase approximately 3.5 million tonnes per annum ("mtpa") of LNG upon the commencement of train three operations.
Under the SPA, KOGAS will purchase LNG on an FOB basis for a purchase price indexed to the monthly Henry Hub price plus a fixed component. LNG will be loaded onto KOGAS's vessels. The SPA has a term of twenty years commencing upon the date of first commercial delivery for train three, and an extension option of up to ten years. Deliveries from train three are expected to occur as early as 2017. The SPA is subject to certain conditions precedent, including but not limited to Sabine Liquefaction receiving regulatory approvals, securing necessary financing arrangements and making a final investment decision to construct the second phase of the liquefaction project.
"KOGAS is our fourth foundation customer and we have now sold 16 mtpa of the 18 mtpa being developed at the Sabine Pass LNG terminal. KOGAS is a strong addition to our portfolio of customers as it is the largest LNG importer in the world and the dominant gas provider for the Republic of Korea, a nation that is soon to become a Free Trade Nation with the U.S." said Charif Souki, Chairman and CEO. "We look forward to finalizing all necessary steps in order to begin construction of the first phase of our project early this year and more importantly, to becoming the first LNG exporter in the Continental U.S."
KOGAS was incorporated by the Korean government in 1983 to engage in the development, production and distribution of liquefied natural gas. KOGAS has since grown to become the world's largest LNG importer and is the Republic of Korea's dominant gas provider. KOGAS operates three LNG terminals and a nationwide pipeline network that spans over 2,739km. KOGAS imports LNG from around the world and supplies it to power generation plants, gas-utility companies and city gas companies throughout the country.
Cheniere Partners owns 100 percent of the Sabine Pass LNG receiving terminal located on the Sabine Pass Channel in western Cameron Parish, Louisiana. The Sabine Pass terminal has regasification and send-out capacity of 4.0 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) and storage capacity of 16.9 billion cubic feet equivalent (Bcfe). Cheniere Partners is developing a project to add liquefaction and export capabilities to the existing infrastructure at the Sabine Pass LNG terminal.
As currently contemplated, the Sabine Pass Liquefaction project ("Liquefaction Project") is being designed and permitted for up to four modular LNG trains, each with a nominal capacity of approximately 4.5 mtpa. The Liquefaction Project is expected to be constructed in phases, with each LNG train commencing operations approximately six to nine months after the previous train. The first phase will include two liquefaction trains.
In November 2011, Sabine Liquefaction entered into a lump sum turnkey contract for the engineering, procurement and construction of the first phase of the project with Bechtel Oil, Gas and Chemicals, Inc. Sabine Liquefaction has also entered into two long-term customer sale and purchase agreements for 7.7 mtpa of LNG volumes, which are expected to underpin the financing of the first two trains. The customers are BG Gulf Coast LNG, LLC ("BG") for 4.2 mtpa under the Amended and Restated SPA and Gas Natural Fenosa for 3.5 mtpa.
Commencement of construction for the first phase is subject, but not limited to, regulatory approvals and Cheniere Partners making a final investment decision.
For the second phase of the Liquefaction Project, Cheniere has contracted SPAs with KOGAS for 3.5 mtpa, GAIL (India) Ltd. for 3.5 mtpa and BG for an additional 1.3 mtpa of LNG volumes under the Amended and Restated SPA. Commencement of construction for the second phase is subject, but not limited to, entering into an EPC contract, regulatory approvals and Cheniere Partners making a final investment decision. Cheniere Partners has placed documentation pertaining to the Liquefaction Project, including the applications and supporting studies, on its website.