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USA: Cheniere to Raise Up to USD 4 Billion in Debt for Sabine Pass Liquefaction Project

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Cheniere Energy Partners said today that it has engaged eight financial institutions to act as Joint Lead Arrangers to assist in the structuring and arranging of up to $4 billion of debt facilities.

The proceeds will be used to pay for costs of development and construction of the liquefaction project at the Sabine Pass LNG terminal, to fund the acquisition of the Creole Trail Pipeline from Cheniere Energy, and for general business purposes. As previously disclosed, estimated capital costs before financing for the first two trains of the liquefaction project of $4.5 billion to $5.0 billion are expected to be funded from a combination of debt and equity financings.

The eight Arrangers are The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd., Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank, Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC, HSBC, J.P. Morgan Securities LLC, Morgan Stanley, RBC Capital Markets, and SG Americas Securities, LLC.

Obtaining financing is one of the last steps to complete before proceeding with the construction of the first two liquefaction trains being developed at the Sabine Pass LNG terminal,” said Charif Souki, Chairman and CEO. “We have engaged an experienced group of financial institutions as our core banking group and look forward to completing the financing for the project in due course.”

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Japan: Osaka Gas Eyes U.S. LNG

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Japan’s Osaka Gas is in negotiations to buy liquefied natural gas from Dominion Resources, Sempra Energy and Freeport LNG in the United States, Bloomberg reported, citing Tetsushi Ikuta, general manager of Osaka Gas energy resources and international business development.

He said that Osaka Gas may invest in planned LNG terminals in Maryland, Louisiana and Texas.

Osaka Gas said recently that it plans to purchase 7.19 million mt of LNG during fiscal 2012.

The company also plans to invest 290 billion yen (3.49 billion U.S. dollars) in LNG storage facilities and laying pipelines in five years from fiscal 2012-2016.

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100 Million Tons of Ships, Hyundai Heavy Surpasses All Others

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Image courtesy Qatar Gas

The Korea Times and Yonhap news reports today that South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) has cumulatively built over 100 million tons of ships over the shipyard’s 40 year history.

No other shipbuilding company in the world has ever built more.

According to the Korea Times,

Hyundai Heavy has delivered a total of 1,805 diverse types of ships, ranging from drilling vessels, LNG or LPG carriers and container ships to submarines and naval ships, to more than 280 ship owners in 49 different countries.

The ships include 510 container ships, 351 oil tankers, 343 bulk carriers and 124 product carriers.

Last month, HHI won orders for 4 liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers and 1 LNG floating storage regasification unit (FSRU) worth USD $1.1 billion.  The orders included two 162,000 cbm LNG carriers for Golar LNG of Norway and two same-class ships for an unnamed European shipowner.

According to a Dow Jones report in January, HHI’s 2012 annual order and sales targets are up 19.6% and 9.5%, respectively, from its results in 2011, when it booked $25.54 billion in orders and KRW25.2 trillion in sales.

Asian shipyards such as HHI are bracing for challenging times ahead however as current oil prices increase operating costs, a glut of containerships and tankers put heavy downward pressure on freight rates, and newbuild ship financing becomes increasingly more complex for shipowners.

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