Michael Smith, the CEO of Freeport LNG terminal, said that he predicts a public offering of the company behind a $14 billion facility in Texas to export liquefied natural gas – Bloomberg reported.
Freeport LNG terminal is expected to be the second terminal after Cheniere’s Sabine Pass, able to export liquefied natural gas from North America’s rich shale formations to energy-hungry countries in Asia and Europe at premium prices.
Once completed in early 2018, the Freeport export facility, which is to be located on the U.S. Gulf Coast, is expected to have the capacity to process 13.2 million metric tons a year.
Michael Smith holds 57.5 per cent of Freeport, with Dow Chemical Co. owning 7.5 per cent and Japan’s Osaka Gas Co. 10 per cent. A 25 per cent interest in the project is held by Global Infrastructure Partners, a private-equity firm, which bought the stake from Zachry American Infrastructure LLC and Hastings Funds Management (USA) Inc. in July for $850 million.
Despite the fact that the construction of the terminal has not yet started, Freeport has already contracts in place with companies including Osaka, BP Plc and Toshiba Corp.
Mr Smith’s decision to go for an IPO of Freeport might have been influenced by the example of Cheniere, which went public in 1994 and has climbed 85 per cent in the past year. He certainly is not alone in his plans. Dominion Resources Inc. is planning a public offering for a master-limited partnership that would own its planned liquefied natural gas export terminal in Maryland, while Sempra Energy has also said it is considering an IPO for an LNG terminal in Louisiana.
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