Twiggy buys-out partners in Port Kembla LNG project

PRIVATELY held Squadron Energy, owned by Western Australian billionaire Andrew Forrest, has bought out its two Japanese joint venture partners to acquire a 100% interest in Australian Industrial Energy Pty, with no details made public on the price.
Twiggy buys-out partners in Port Kembla LNG project Twiggy buys-out partners in Port Kembla LNG project Twiggy buys-out partners in Port Kembla LNG project Twiggy buys-out partners in Port Kembla LNG project Twiggy buys-out partners in Port Kembla LNG project

Paul Hunt

Senior Journalist: Energy & Commodities

Paul Hunt

Australian Industrial Energy is the vehicle being used to develop the Port Kembla LNG import terminal in New South Wales. 

On Tuesday, Squadron announced it had acquired JERA (19.9%) and Marubeni Corporation (30.1%) interest in the consortium giving it full ownership. 

"JERA and Marubeni have excellent partners and have both indicated they remain open to future opportunities for targeted involvement in the AIE Port Kembla Gas Terminal Project including LNG procurement, and the development of an associated gas-fired power station," Squadron chair Michael Masterman said. 

AIE had long argued one of its advantages to supplying well-priced gas into the market was the huge LNG portfolios of its major Japanese partners. JERA is the world's largest LNG buyer. 

In a release on Tuesday, Squadron said it was committed to the "expedited development" of the Port Kembla import terminal to supply an expected gas shortfall on the east coast by 2023.

Squadron claimed it could supply 70% of New South Wales' gas requirements by late 2022 with 100 petajoules per year. 

Santos' Narrabri CSG project was approved by the state's Independent Planning Commission last week, which can supply 50% of the state's gas needs. 

AIE believes the two projects can co-exist. AIE's Peter Michley told Energy News late last month Port Kembla terminal was the only source of gas that could meet supply by 2022, and that Narrabri would still face "many hurdles" before it was in production. 

Squadron's move comes about a month after gas infrastructure giant Jemena unveiled major plans to extend its Eastern Gas Pipeline from Horsley Park in Sydney to the Hunter Valley, providing pipeline infrastructure connecting the Port Kembla terminal with gas offtake users in the region. 

AIE is yet to make a final investment decision on the project. An initial concept feasibility study of the project was completed about two years ago. Front-end engineering design studies are now being conducted. 

The project was granted Critical State Significant Infrastructure (CSSI) status by the NSW government in June 2018.

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