GDF Suez reveals huge US LNG deal with Japanese firms
French energy group GDF Suez has signed a joint-venture with US firm Sempra Energy and Japanese groups Mitsubishi and Mitsui relating to the construction of a huge liquefied natural gas factory in the United States, it said on Friday.
The deputy managing director responsible for gas operations at GDF Suez, Jean-Marie Dauger, said that "the Cameron LNG project will enable the group to diversify and increase its LNG (liquefied natural gas) interests and also its flexibility in supplying existing and future markets in zones of strong growth."
GDF Suez says that it is the biggest importer of LNG in Europe and the third biggest in the world, accounting for 16.0 million tonnes per year from six countries.
The company operates six tankers built to carry methane gas.
The development of LNG gas facilities generally, together with the boom in exploitation of shale gas in North America, are two big developments in global energy markets.
The new LNG factory, built by Cameron LNG, a subsidiary of Sempra Energy, will be established on the site of the company's terminal for the transportation of methane gas at Hackberry in Louisiana.
The plant will comprise three liquefaction lines capable of producing 12 million tonnes per year, and will be operated by Cameron LNG, said GDF Suez in a statement.
Under the venture, GDF Suez, Mitsubishi and Mitsui will each acquire stakes of 16.6 percent. Sempra Energy will hold 50.2 percent of the shares in the existing terminal and in the liquefaction operations.
Production is due to begin at the end of 2017.
The agreement is subject to final approval by the companies concerned and to various regulatory approvals which are expected to be obtained by the beginning of 2014, the statement said.
© 2013 AFP