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Last updated on April 17, 2014 at 21:23 EDT

Cheniere Energy Partners Reports Third Quarter 2013 Results

November 8, 2013

HOUSTON, Nov. 8, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Cheniere Energy Partners, L.P. (“Cheniere Partners”) (NYSE MKT: CQP) reported a net loss of $98.1 million and $196.9 million for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2013, respectively, compared to a net loss of $51.4 million and $106.8 million for the same periods in 2012, respectively.

Significant items for the three months and nine months ended September 30, 2013 were $23.8 million and $34.2 million, respectively, compared to $4.0 million and $38.0 million, respectively, for the comparable 2012 periods. Significant items for the quarter related to development expenses and derivative gains/losses, and for the nine months ended September 30, 2013, significant items also included loss on early extinguishment of debt. Development expenses were primarily for the liquefaction facilities we are developing through Sabine Pass Liquefaction, LLC (“Sabine Pass Liquefaction”) at the Sabine Pass LNG terminal adjacent to the existing regasification facilities (the “Liquefaction Project”). Derivative gains/losses were primarily the result of the change in fair value of Sabine Pass Liquefaction’s interest rate derivatives to hedge the exposure to volatility in a portion of the floating-rate interest payments under the four credit facilities. Loss on early extinguishment of debt was related to Sabine Pass Liquefaction amending and replacing its $3.6 billion credit facility with four credit facilities aggregating $5.9 billion.

Liquefaction Project Update

We continue to make progress on the Liquefaction Project, which is being developed for up to six natural gas liquefaction trains (“Trains”), each with a design production of approximately 4.5 mtpa. We have received Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) and Department of Energy (“DOE”) approvals for Trains 1 through 4, and we have filed all required regulatory applications with the FERC and DOE to develop Trains 5 and 6.

The Trains are in various stages of development.

    --  Construction on Trains 1 and 2 began in August 2012, and as of September
        30, 2013, the overall project for Trains 1 and 2 was approximately 45%
        complete, which is ahead of the contracted schedule.  Based on our
        current construction, we anticipate that Train 1 will produce LNG by
        late 2015.
    --  Construction on Trains 3 and 4 began in May 2013, and as of September
        30, 2013, the overall project for Trains 3 and 4 was approximately 10%
        complete.  To date, soil stabilization has been completed and pile
        driving, our next critical path item, is underway.  We expect Trains 3
        and 4 to become operational in late 2016 and 2017, respectively.
    --  We continue to make progress with the commercialization and development
        of Trains 5 and 6.  To date, we have completed two LNG sale and purchase
        agreements ("SPAs") for approximately 3.75 mtpa, in aggregate, of LNG
        volumes that commence with the start of Train 5 operations.  Annual
        fixed fee revenues associated with these SPAs are approximately $0.6
        billion.  Bechtel has begun the front-end engineering design ("FEED") on
        Trains 5 and 6, and we have commenced the regulatory approval process.
        In September 2013, we filed the complete application with the FERC.  In
        February 2013 and in April 2013, we filed Free Trade Agreement ("FTA")
        and non-FTA export applications for LNG volumes under the SPAs with
        Total Gas & Power North America, Inc. ("Total") and Centrica plc
        ("Centrica"), respectively.  In September 2013, we filed FTA and non-FTA
        export applications for LNG volumes for the un-contracted volumes from
        Train 5 and for all volumes from Train 6.  To date, we have received
        authorization from the DOE to export LNG volumes to FTA countries under
        the Total SPA and Centrica SPA.  FTA authorization for the remaining
        volumes from Train 5 and all volumes from Train 6 as well as non-FTA
        authorizations for both Trains 5 and 6 are pending.

    Liquefaction Project Timeline

                                           Target Date
                                           -----------

    Milestone                           Trains                 Trains                 Trains

                                        1 & 2                   3 & 4                 5 & 6
    ---                                 -----                   -----                 -----

    DOE export authorization           Received               Received           T5: Received FTA

                                                                                 Pending Non-FTA

    Definitive commercial
     agreements                   Completed 7.7 mtpa     Completed 8.3 mtpa       T5: Completed

                                                                                     T6: 2014

    - BG Gulf Coast LNG, LLC           4.2 mtpa               1.3 mtpa

    - Gas Natural Fenosa               3.5 mtpa

    - KOGAS                                                   3.5 mtpa

    - GAIL (India) Ltd.                                       3.5 mtpa

    - Total Gas & Power N.A.                                                         2.0 mtpa

    - Centrica plc                                                                  1.75 mtpa

    EPC contract                      Completed               Completed                           2015

    Financing                                                                                     2015

    - Equity                          Completed               Completed

    - Debt commitments                 Received                Received

    FERC authorization

    - FERC Order                       Received               Received                           2,015

    -Certificate to commence
     construction                      Received               Received

    Issue Notice to Proceed           Completed               Completed                          2,015

    Commence operations                        2015/2016               2016/2017             2018/2019

Q3 2013 Results

For the quarter and nine months ended September 30, 2013, Cheniere Partners reported loss from operations of $23.4 million and $38.1 million, respectively, compared to loss of $8.2 million and income of $23.7 million for the respective comparable periods in 2012. Net operating losses were primarily affected by operating and maintenance expenses and general and administrative expenses. Increases in operating and maintenance expenses of $15.8 million and $41.7 million for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2013, respectively, compared to the comparable 2012 periods resulted primarily from costs incurred to purchase LNG to maintain the cryogenic readiness of the regasification facilities at the Sabine Pass LNG terminal and for the nine months ended September 30, 2013, included increases in variable compensation expenses. Increases in general and administrative expenses of $3.3 million and $52.5 million for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2013, respectively, compared to the comparable 2012 periods were primarily due to increased costs incurred to manage the construction of Trains 1 through 4, which resulted from a management services agreement entered into by Sabine Pass Liquefaction, in which Sabine Pass Liquefaction is required to pay a wholly owned subsidiary of Cheniere Energy, Inc. (“Cheniere Energy”) a monthly fee based upon the capital expenditures incurred in the previous month for the Liquefaction Project. For the three and nine months ended September 30, 2013, the costs incurred to manage the construction of Trains 1 through 4 were $35.2 million and $72.9 million, respectively. These payments are being funded from proceeds received from the Liquefaction Project’s equity and debt financings.

2013 Distributions

We estimate that the annualized distribution to common unitholders for fiscal year 2013 will be $1.70 per unit. We will pay a cash distribution per common unit of $0.425 to unitholders of record as of November 1, 2013, and the related general partner distribution on November 14, 2013.

Cheniere Partners owns 100 percent of the Sabine Pass LNG terminal located on the Sabine Pass deep water shipping channel less than four miles from the Gulf Coast. The Sabine Pass LNG terminal has regasification facilities that include existing infrastructure of five LNG storage tanks with capacity of approximately 16.9 billion cubic feet equivalent (Bcfe), two docks that can accommodate vessels with capacity of up to 265,000 cubic meters and vaporizers with regasification capacity of approximately 4.0 Bcf/d. Cheniere Partners is developing natural gas liquefaction facilities at the Sabine Pass LNG terminal adjacent to the existing regasification facilities (the “Liquefaction Project”). Cheniere Partners plans to construct over time up to six natural gas liquefaction trains (“Trains”), which are in various stages of development. Each Train is expected to have a design production capacity of approximately 4.5 mtpa. Cheniere Partners’ wholly owned subsidiary, Sabine Pass Liquefaction, LLC (“Sabine Pass Liquefaction”), has entered into lump sum turnkey contracts for the engineering, procurement and construction of Train 1, Train 2, Train 3 and Train 4 with Bechtel Oil, Gas and Chemicals, Inc. (“Bechtel”). Sabine Pass Liquefaction has commenced construction of Train 1 and Train 2 and the related new facilities needed to treat, liquefy, store and export natural gas. Construction of Train 3 and Train 4 and the related facilities commenced in May 2013. Sabine Pass Liquefaction recently began the development of Train 5 and Train 6 and commenced the regulatory process in February 2013. Sabine Pass Liquefaction has also entered into six third-party LNG sale and purchase agreements (“SPAs”). The customers include BG Gulf Coast LNG, LLC (“BG”) for 5.5 mtpa, Gas Natural Aprovisionamientos SDG S.A. (“Gas Natural Fenosa”) for 3.5 mtpa, Korea Gas Corporation (“KOGAS”) for 3.5 mtpa, GAIL (India) Ltd. (“GAIL”) for 3.5 mtpa, Total Gas & Power North America, Inc. (“Total”) for 2.0 mtpa and Centrica plc (“Centrica”) for 1.75 mtpa. In addition, Sabine Pass Liquefaction has entered into an SPA with Cheniere Marketing, LLC (“Cheniere Marketing”) for up to 2.0 mtpa of LNG that is produced but not already committed to third parties. The BG and Cheniere Marketing SPAs commence with the start of Train 1 operations and the Gas Natural Fenosa SPA commences with the start of Train 2 operations. The KOGAS and GAIL SPAs commence with the start of Train 3 and Train 4 operations, respectively, and the Total and Centrica SPAs commence with the start of Train 5 operations. Cheniere Partners has placed documentation pertaining to the Liquefaction Project, including the applications and supporting studies, on its website located at http://www.cheniereenergypartners.com.

For additional information, please refer to the Cheniere Energy Partners, L.P. website at www.cheniereenergypartners.com and Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the period ended September 30, 2013, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

This press release contains certain statements that may include “forward-looking statements” within the meanings of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. All statements, other than statements of historical facts, included herein are “forward-looking statements.” Included among “forward-looking statements” are, among other things, (i) statements regarding Cheniere Partners’ business strategy, plans and objectives, including the construction and operation of liquefaction facilities, (ii) statements regarding our expectations regarding regulatory authorizations and approvals, (iii) statements expressing beliefs and expectations regarding the development of Cheniere Partners’ LNG terminal and liquefaction business, (iv) statements regarding the business operations and prospects of third parties, (v) statements regarding potential financing arrangements, and (vi) statements regarding future discussions and entry into contracts. Although Cheniere Partners believes that the expectations reflected in these forward-looking statements are reasonable, they do involve assumptions, risks and uncertainties, and these expectations may prove to be incorrect. Cheniere Partners’ actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements as a result of a variety of factors, including those discussed in Cheniere Partners’ periodic reports that are filed with and available from the Securities and Exchange Commission. You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this press release. Other than as required under the securities laws, Cheniere Partners does not assume a duty to update these forward-looking statements.

(Financial Table Follows)


                                                                                     Cheniere Energy Partners, L.P.

                                                                                     Selected Financial Information

                                                                                (in thousands, except per unit data) (1)

                                                                     Three Months Ended                                         Nine Months Ended

                                                                       September 30,                                              September 30,
                                                                     -------------                                         -------------

                                                              2013                 2012                   2013                             2012
                                                              ----                 ----                   ----                             ----

    Revenues

    Revenues                                                         $66,646                                      $62,429                          $199,052   $190,160

    Revenues-affiliate                                         800                           3,929                             2,140                  6,973
                                                               ---                           -----                             -----                  -----

    Total revenues                                          67,446                          66,358                           201,192                197,133

    Expenses

    Operating and maintenance expense                       23,553                           6,395                            52,751                 20,063

    Operating and maintenance expense-affiliate              6,314                           7,711                            23,534                 14,486

    Depreciation expense                                    14,491                          14,489                            43,150                 43,135

    Development expense                                      1,355                           4,229                             8,157                 35,369

    Development expense-affiliate                              133                             102                             1,195                  2,365

    General and administrative expense                       2,718                           4,737                             8,521                  9,235

    General and administrative expense-affiliate            42,239                          36,871                           101,998                 48,745
                                                            ------                          ------                           -------                 ------

    Total expenses                                          90,803                          74,534                           239,306                173,398
                                                            ------                          ------                           -------                -------

    Income (loss) from operations                          (23,357)                         (8,176)                          (38,114)                23,735

    Other income (expense)

    Interest expense, net                                  (52,528)                        (43,626)                        (134,806)               (130,554)

    Loss on early extinguishment of debt                         -                               -                           (80,510)                     -

    Derivative gain (loss), net                            (22,335)                            287                            55,706                   (288)

    Other                                                      111                             145                               873                    289
                                                               ---                             ---                               ---                    ---

    Total other expense                                    (74,752)                        (43,194)                        (158,737)               (130,553)
                                                           -------                         -------                          --------               --------

    Net loss                                                        $(98,109)                                    $(51,370)                        $(196,851) $(106,818)
                                                                    ========                                     ========                         =========  =========

    Basic and diluted net income (loss) per common unit               $(0.20)                                       $0.04                            $(0.01)     $0.36
                                                                      ======                                        =====                            ======      =====

    Weighted average number of common units outstanding
     used for basic and diluted net income per common unit
     calculation                                            57,079                          31,997                            53,277                 31,449

                                    September 30,
                                         2013                  December 31, 2012
                                   --------------              -----------------

    Cash and cash
     equivalents                                     $339,895                                   $419,292

    Restricted
     cash and cash
     equivalents                          210,076                          92,519

    LNG inventory                          14,158                           2,625

    Other current
     assets (2)                            59,090                          18,687

    Non-current
     restricted
     cash and cash
     equivalents                          828,360                         272,425

    Property,
     plant and
     equipment,
     net                                5,642,872                       3,219,592

    Debt issuance
     costs, net                           340,856                         220,949

    Non-current
     derivative
     assets                                64,309                               -

    Other assets                           71,102                          19,698
                                           ------                          ------

    Total assets                                   $7,570,718                                 $4,265,787
                                                   ==========                                 ==========

    Current
     liabilities
     (2)                                             $233,878                        155,836

    Long-term
     debt, net of
     discount                           5,574,195                       2,167,113

    Deferred
     revenue,
     including
     affiliate                             35,673                          36,220

    Long-term
     derivative
     liability                                  -                          26,424

    Other
     liabilities
     (2)                                    1,209                             216

    Total
     partners'
     capital                            1,725,763                       1,879,978
                                        ---------                       ---------

    Total
     liabilities
     and partners'
     capital                                       $7,570,718                                 $4,265,787
                                                   ----------                                 ----------

    _____________

    (1) Please refer to the Cheniere Energy Partners, L.P. Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the period ended
     September 30, 2013, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

    (2) Amounts include transactions between Cheniere Energy Partners, L.P. and Cheniere Energy, Inc. or
     subsidiaries of Cheniere Energy, Inc.

SOURCE Cheniere Energy Partners, L.P.


Source: PR Newswire