EXIM bank in first US LNG export transaction

The Export-Import Bank of the United States said it has finalized its first-ever US LNG export transition by signing deals with terminal operator Freeport LNG.

The EXIM board approved in September last year a $50 million finance facility from Greensill Capital (UK) to Freeport LNG Marketing.

Following the approval, the bank signed on Friday two final agreements to make the deal – with the first-ever use of a funder guarantee structure – operative and $50 million available to Freeport LNG, it said.

The transaction would support about 200 American jobs, principally in Texas, as well as through supplier networks in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Oklahoma, EXIM said.

“Working capital support is essential for any supplier of free on-board LNG. Greensill and EXIM were able to help us fill this crucial need with a unique structural set up that will allow Freeport and its suppliers to more efficiently provide the global market with US LNG,” said Michael Smith, founder and CEO, Freeport LNG.

To remind, Freeport LNG started full commercial operations of its $13.5 billion, 15 mtpa three-train facility in Texas in May last year.

The firm launched operations back in 2008 as an import facility. It began export operations from the first train in 2019.

Commercial operations for the second liquefaction train started in January last year.

Freeport LNG has contracts for about 13.4 mtpa of production capacity under 20-year use-or-pay liquefaction tolling agreements.

Additonally, Freeport LNG is planning the fourth production unit with a capacity of five million tonnes per year.

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