I Squared Capital takes controlling stake in Whistler Pipeline

US infrastructure investor I Squared Capital has acquired a controlling interest in Whistler Pipeline, the operator of a 724 kilometers long pipeline that will have direct connections into LNG facilities in the Corpus Christi area.

According to a statement, I Squared Capital bought the stake through its ISQ Global Infrastructure Fund III from First Infrastructure Capital, Ridgemont Equity Partners, affiliates of West Texas Gas, affiliates of Stonepeak Partners, and the WhiteWater management team.

The firm did not reveal the price tag of the deal.

Completed in June 2021, the giant pipeline has about 2 billion cubic feet per day of current capacity and the consortium is expanding the capacity to 2.5 billion cubic feet per day.

Moreover, it connects the Permian Basin’s growing natural gas supply to LNG, Mexico, and Gulf Coast demand, I Squared Capital said, adding that it will have direct connections into LNG facilities in the Corpus Christi area.

Nearly all current capacity is contracted under long-term, fixed-fee minimum volume commitments, primarily with investment grade counterparties, it said.

The management team, who retain a significant portion of equity in the business, has identified several initiatives to accelerate further growth of the platform, I Squared Capital said.

Feed gas for LNG export plants

I Squared Capital sees increasing long-term demand for natural gas across the US Gulf Coast due to the growth in LNG liquefaction capacity in the region, as well as growing demand from Mexico.

“The Whistler pipeline offers the rare combination of strong free cash flow, high-quality contracts, and operating rights on highly strategic natural gas infrastructure,” it said.

Also, given the long-term demand for LNG infrastructure in this strategic area, I Squared Capital is evaluating additional investments to “promote the energy transition and support the security of the global energy supply at a critical time,” it said.

In September last year, US LNG exporting giant Cheniere signed a deal with Whistler Pipeline to expand the latter’s existing pipeline in order to deliver natural gas from the Permian Basin to the Corpus Christi LNG export plant in Texas.

Units of Whistler Pipeline and Cheniere executed agreements to move forward with the construction of ADCC Pipeline, a joint venture between the two companies.

The new pipeline will be be about 69 kilometers long and will connect the terminus near Agua Dulce to the Corpus Christi LNG plant.

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