Sempra Joins Pemex for First Gas Export Terminal in Mexico

Sempra Energy agreed to join state-run Petroleos Mexicanos’s plan to build the first export facility for liquefied natural gas in Mexico at an under-utilized import terminal on the Pacific Coast.

The two companies will collaborate on the development, structuring and financing of the project at Sempra’s Energia Costa Azul port terminal in Ensenada, about 85 miles (137 kilometers) south of San Diego, Infraestructura Energetica Nova SAB said in a e-mailed statement Thursday. Financial terms for the agreement weren’t disclosed.

Pemex first announced plans to build a $6 billion LNG export facility in November. The producer is seeking alliances to develop projects after announcing more than $4 billion in budget cuts on Monday.

Mexico is planning to expand its pipeline network 75 percent by 2018 to increase gas distribution and lower electricity costs, Enrique Ochoa, chief executive officer of state-owned utility Comision Federal de Electricidad, said in December.

Sempra, the majority holder of Ienova, began commercial operations at the LNG import terminal on the Pacific Coast in 2008. A boom in U.S. gas supplies has left the terminal receiving few shipments. Sempra broke ground on a Cameron LNG export facility in October in Hackberry, Louisiana. LNG plants chill gas into liquid form before loading it into ships for export.

San Diego-based Sempra fell 0.5 percent to $109.20 at the close in New York. Ienova rose 0.7 percent to 74.62 pesos in Mexico City.

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