Sempra Energy (NYSE:SRE) announced today that it has signed 20-year tolling capacity and joint venture agreements with two foreign firms to help finance its proposed $10-billion LNG export facility.

France-based GDF SUEZ, and Japanese-based Mitsubishi and Mitsui & Co. corporations, will each acquire a 16.6% equity stake in the facility, while Sempra will maintain a majority 50.2% ownership.

The tolling agreements allow for total export capabilities of 12 Mtpa, equivalent to 1.7 billion cubic feet per day. Each of the three new partners will take on a third of the capacity, amounting to around 5 billion cubic feet per day of regasification capacity for each corporation.

Sempra Energy President Mark Snell said in a statement:

These agreements represent a major step forward in the development of our LNG export project at the site of the Cameron LNG facility. This project, one of the largest in Sempra Energy's history, provides benefits to the local Louisiana economy, promotes a favorable balance of trade for the national economy, and supports national and international energy security by assuring reliable long-term gas supplies to U.S. allies and trading partners

Sempra received regulatory approval to export LNG to free-trade agreement countries last year, and has also applied for the government's green light to export to non-free trade agreement countries. Pending final approvals, construction is expected to begin in 2014.


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