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Sempra subsidiary sells non-utility US natural gas storage facilities

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LNG Industry,

Sempra Energy has announced that its subsidiary has entered into an agreement to sell its non-utility US natural gas storage facilities to an affiliate of ArcLight Capital Partners.

According to the statement, the sale is for US$332 million, subject to adjustments for working capital. Sempra claims that the facilities will become part of the Enstor natural gas storage platform, which was acquired by ArcLight in 2018.

Joseph A. Householder, president and chief operating officer of Sempra Energy, said: “Our agreement to sell our non-utility US natural gas storage assets is an important component to achieving our portfolio-optimisation goals we announced in June 2018.

“Completing this sale, along with the recently announced sale of our non-utility US solar assets, enables us to reallocate capital to further strengthen our balance sheet and support Sempra Energy's future growth opportunities.”

According to the statement, the gas storage assets that will be covered by the sale include the Mississippi hub storage facility and the Bay Gas storage facility. The former is located in Simpson County, Mississippi, and has a working capacity of 22.3 billion ft3 of natural gas. The latter is located in Southwest Alabama, and consists of five underground caverns with a working capacity of 20.4 billion ft3 of gas.

Sempra Energy claims that its subsidiary currently owns around 91% of the Bay Gas facility. Immediately before the sale, the subsidiary will reportedly purchase the approximately 9% interest from a minority owner and include it in the sale to ArcLight.

According to the statement, the sale of the non-utility natural gas assets to ArcLight is expected to be completed in 1Q19 (subject to customary closing conditions). At closing, ArcLight will own 100% of both the Bay Gas and Mississippi Hub storage facilities.

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