Kinder Morgan sells Elba Island LNG stake for $565 million

US energy company Kinder Morgan has sold a 25.5 percent stake in the 2.5 mtpa Elba Island LNG export plant in Georgia for about $565 million.

Kinder Morgan said in a statement it had sold the stake to an undisclosed financial buyer.

The firm plans to use the proceed to reduce short-term debt and “create additional capacity for attractive investments, including opportunistic share repurchases.”

Also, the value of the equity interest implies an enterprise value of about $2.3 billion for Elba Liquefaction Company (ELC), the owner of the liquefaction plant, which is about 13 times 2022 Ebitda, according to Kinder Morgan.

Upon closing, the undisclosed financial buyer and Kinder Morgan will each hold a 25.5 percent interest, while the latter will continue to operate the facility.

Blackstone Credit will continue to hold a 49 percent interest in ELC. The unit of US-based private equity firm Blackstone bought the stake from compatriot EIG Global Energy Partners earlier this year.

The new stake sale comes at a time of a big demand for US LNG, particularly from Europe.

US liquefaction facilities, including Elba Island, have sent most of their volumes to Europe this year due to high gas prices in Europe and the lack of pipeline gas supplies.

Elba Island began full commercial operations in August 2020.

It has 10 movable modular liquefaction units capable of producing about 2.5 mtpa of LNG or some 350 million cubic feet per day of natural gas.

The export project has a 20-year contract with LNG giant Shell.

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