Cheniere Partners Receives $3.4B Firm Lender Commitments for Sabine Pass Liquefaction Project

abarrelfullabarrelfull wrote on 13 Jul 2012 08:02
Tags: cheniere lng n-america usa

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Cheniere Energy Partners, L.P. ("Cheniere Partners") (NYSE Amex: CQP) announced today that it has received executed firm financial commitments in aggregate of approximately $3.4 billion to fund the costs of developing, constructing and placing into service the first two liquefaction trains of the Sabine Pass LNG liquefaction project (the "Liquefaction Project"). Commitments for a Term Loan A ("Credit Facility") were received from all of the previously announced joint lead arranger banks and from additional banks and financial institutions ("Lenders"). As a result, Cheniere Partners has decided to upsize the Credit Facility and withdraw the previously announced syndication of a $1.25 billion Term Loan B facility.

Sabine Pass Liquefaction is finalizing definitive loan documents with the committed Lenders and is working on commitments of approximately $200 million with additional financial institutions. The Credit Facility is expected to be closed by the end of the month. Per the commitments, the Credit Facility has a 7 year maturity and the interest rate is LIBOR plus 350 basis points during construction, stepping up to LIBOR plus 375 basis points during operations.

"Including the recently announced $2 billion of equity commitments, we have now received financial commitments of approximately $5.4 billion for the construction of Trains 1 and 2 of our Liquefaction Project. Our Credit Facility will be one of the larger facilities in the project financing market, underlying the strong fundamentals of the transaction," said Charif Souki, Chairman and CEO. "Our ability to access a very large credit facility will significantly reduce our costs of financing during construction. We expect to reach a final investment decision and issue notice to proceed to Bechtel upon meeting all conditions precedent under the financial agreements, including, but not limited to, completion of the financing process with the Lenders and having all regulatory approvals in full force and effect."

Cheniere Partners has also withdrawn the syndication of the $750 million Term Loan B and anticipates postponing the purchase of the Creole Trail Pipeline from Cheniere Energy, Inc. until after construction begins and financing for the purchase has been obtained. The anticipated postponement of the pipeline transaction is not expected to delay the financing of the Liquefaction Project.

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