Houston’s Kinder Morgan said Tuesday it will sell a 49 percent stake in its liquefied natural gas export project in Georgia for $385 million to the EIG Global Energy Partners private equity firm.
Kinder Morgan started construction on its nearly $2 billion Elba Island LNG export project in November and Chief Executive Steve Kean has long indicated he was seeking a financial partner to help bear the cost burden.
Royal Dutch Shell originally owned a 49 percent share, but pulled out almost two years ago. Shell is still helping fund the project through a 20-year contract to purchase the exported LNG.
Elba Island, which is near Savannah, Georgia, is one of the smallest LNG export projects in the works, but it’s also moving along faster than many others because Kinder Morgan already had an LNG terminal in place. The project is expected to begin exporting LNG in late 2018 and be fully completed in early 2019. The plan is to export up to 2.5 million metric tons of LNG a year.
EIG has U.S. offices in Houston and Washington, D.C.