Cheniere: Sabine 1,2 Train Construction Start in H1 2012 (USA)
Cheniere Energy Partners reported a net loss of $7.5 million and $31.0 million for the quarter and year ended December 31, 2011, compared to a net loss of $2.7 million and net income of $107.6 million for the same periods in 2010.
For the year ended December 31, 2011, affiliate revenues decreased $116.3 million primarily as a result of the assignment of the terminal use agreement (TUA) in June 2010 from Cheniere Marketing to Cheniere Energy Investments, the company’s wholly owned subsidiary, which required Cheniere to eliminate for consolidated reporting purposes the TUA revenues under this contract to Sabine Pass LNG.
Overview of Significant Events
During 2011, Sabine Pass Liquefaction made significant progress on the liquefaction project being developed at the Sabine Pass LNG terminal, including the following:
- received an order from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) with authorization to export domestically produced natural gas from the Sabine Pass LNG terminal as LNG to any country that has, or in the future develops, the capacity to import LNG and with which trade is permissible;
- entered into a lump sum turnkey engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) agreement with Bechtel Oil, Gas and Chemicals for the first two LNG trains and related facilities at the Sabine Pass LNG terminal for a contract price of $3.9 billion, which is subject to adjustment by change order; and
- sold an aggregate of approximately 10.5 million mtpa of LNG per year under three long-term LNG sale and purchase agreements (SPAs) which commence upon the date of first commercial delivery for the applicable LNG train.
During 2011, Cheniere received approximately $69.0 million in net proceeds through equity issuances, including:
- approximately $9.0 million during the year from the sale of 0.5 million common units through an at-the-market (ATM) program; and
- approximately $60.0 million in September 2011 from the sale of 3.0 million common units in an underwritten public offering and the sale of approximately 1.1 million common units to Cheniere Common Units Holding.
As of February 2012, Sabine Liquefaction has contracted additional volumes under SPAs and has now sold approximately 16.0 mtpa of LNG, or approximately 89% of the expected nameplate liquefaction volumes that will be available upon the completion of the liquefaction facilities. The fixed fee component for the SPAs equates to a range between $2.25 per million British thermal units (MMBtu) and $3.00 per MMBtu and, in aggregate, the fixed fee component from all four SPAs totals approximately $2.3 billion annually.
Cheniere Partners reported income from operations of $37.0 million and $144.6 million for the quarter and year ended December 31, 2011, respectively, compared to income from operations of $40.7 million and $280.8 million for the comparable periods in 2010.
Total revenues for the quarter and year ended December 31, 2011, were $70.8 million and $283.8 million, compared to total revenues of $72.1 million and $399.3 million for the comparable periods in 2010. Total revenues primarily include capacity payments received from customers in accordance with Cheniere’s TUAs and incremental revenues from tug services and re-export fees. Revenues from affiliates for the year ended December 31, 2011, decreased by $116.3 million when compared to the comparable period in 2010 due to the assignment of Cheniere Marketing’s TUA to Investments, partially offset by revenues from the variable capacity rights agreement (VCRA) with Cheniere Marketing.
Total operating costs and expenses for the quarter and year ended December 31, 2011, were $33.8 million and $139.2 million, respectively, compared to $31.4 million and $118.5 million for the comparable periods in 2010. Development expense (including affiliate) increased $25.9 million for the year ended December 31, 2011, compared to 2010, primarily due to expenses related to the proposed Liquefaction Project. Operating and maintenance expenses (including affiliate) decreased $5.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2011, compared to 2010, primarily due to decreased fuel costs as a result of efficiencies in our LNG inventory management.
Liquefaction Project Update
Cheniere continues to make progress on its Liquefaction Project, which is being designed and permitted for up to four liquefaction trains, each with a nominal production capability of approximately 4.5 mtpa. Cheniere anticipates LNG exports from the Sabine Pass LNG terminal could commence as early as 2015, with each liquefaction train commencing operations approximately six to nine months after the previous train.
Cheniere is advancing towards making a final investment decision on the first two liquefaction trains, which is subject, but not limited to, obtaining regulatory approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and obtaining financing. Cheniere estimates that the costs to construct the first two liquefaction trains will be approximately $4.5 billion to $5.0 billion, before financing costs. The company expects to finance the first two liquefaction trains with a combination of debt and equity. Construction is expected to commence in the first half of 2012.
Commencement of construction for liquefaction trains 3 and 4 is subject, but not limited to, regulatory approvals, entering into an EPC agreement, obtaining financing and making a final investment decision. Sabine Liquefaction has engaged Bechtel to complete front-end engineering and design work and to negotiate a lump sum turnkey contract. Construction for LNG trains 3 and 4 is targeted for early 2013.
LNG World News Staff, February 24, 2012