US LNG firm Tellurian, the developer of the Driftwood LNG export project, has signed a land sale and leaseback deal worth $1 billion with a New York-based institutional investor.
The company said in a filling with the US SEC it has entered into a binding letter of intent with an unidentified investor with about $120 billion in assets under management regarding the sale and leaseback of about 800 acres of land owned and/or leased by its unit Driftwood LNG.
This land will be used for the proposed Driftwood LNG terminal in Lake Charles, Louisiana.
Under the deal, a special purpose entity to be formed by the investor will purchase Driftwood LNG’s interests in the property for $1 billion, and lease the property for 40 years to Driftwood LNG, Tellurian said.
Also, terms of the master lease will include, among others, a capitalization rate of 8.75 percent, annual rent escalators of 3 percent, a requirement that Driftwood LNG posts a letter of credit equal to 12 months of rent, etc.
According to Tellurian, the LOI contemplates that the parties will use “commercially reasonable efforts” to finalize the purchase agreement and master lease on or before July 14, 2023.
“The closing of the transaction will occur on the later of 91 days after the purchase agreement is executed by the parties thereto and the satisfaction of the closing conditions in the purchase agreement, including Driftwood LNG securing financing commitments for Phase 1 of the Driftwood project on terms satisfactory to the purchaser,” it said.
Earlier this year, Tellurian’s co-founder and executive chairman, Charif Souki, said that the LNG terminal developer is in talks with “several equity providers” as it looks to secure financing for its project.
Under the first phase, Tellurian aims to build two LNG plants near Lake Charles with an export capacity of up to 11 mtpa and expects the costs to reach about $13.6 billion.
While Tellurian is working on financing of the project, US engineer and construction giant Bechtel is moving forward with the initial site works under a limited notice to proceed issued in March last year.