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    Total Takes Stake in Mexico's Costa Azul Project


The French major earlier agreed to take over half of the plant's output.

by: Joe Murphy

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Natural Gas & LNG News, Americas, Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), Premium, Corporate, Mergers & Acquisitions, Import/Export, Companies, Europe, Total, News By Country, Mexico

Total Takes Stake in Mexico's Costa Azul Project

Total has taken a 16.6% interest in the Energia Costa Azul (ECA) export project, the French major said on December 10, less than a month after US operator Sempra Energy took a final investment decision on the plant's construction.

Total said the project would benefit from brownfield synergies with existing facilities and from its proximity to Asian markets. Situated on Mexico's west coast, the plant's shipments will be able to reach Asia without going through the Panama Canal.

"This investment is in line with our strategy to grow our LNG integrated portfolio across the entire gas value chain, which is key to meet growing global demand for energy while decreasing the carbon intensity of the products sold to our customers," the company's president for gas, renewables and power, Philippe Sauquet, said in a statement.

Sempra LNG CEO Justin Bird added that the deal was "the next step in advancing our long-term strategy to provide the world with access to diverse US natural gas basins that can offer reliable and more secure forms of energy from both the Pacific and Gulf coasts."

Sempra LNG and another Sempra subsidiary IEnova have each retained 41.7% shares in the project. ECA's first phase, approved last month, involves one liquefaction train with a production capacity of 3.25mn metric tons/year. Earlier this year Total signed a 20-year sale and purchase contract for 1.7mn mt/yr of this supply, while Japan's Mitsui has agreed to take 0.8mn mt/yr.

Sempra announced a series of integrated transactions last week that would combine Sempra LNG and IEnova under a new business platform, Sempra Infrastructure Partners, once it obtains regulatory approvals and satisfies other conditions.