Shell, partners strike deal to sell Altamira LNG terminal

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Thursday, June 2, 2011

Anglo-Dutch oil major Shell (NYSE: RDS), Japan's Mitsui and French oil company Total (NYSE: TOT) have struck a deal to sell their Altamira LNG regasification terminal in Mexico's Veracruz state and intend to transfer operational control in 3Q11, a Shell spokesperson told BNamericas in an email.

Shell holds a 50% stake in Altamira, while the other two companies each have 25% stakes. The companies will sell to a joint venture of international terminal operator Vopak and Spanish gas transporter Enagas in which the companies hold 60% and 40%, respectively, according to a Vopak statement.

The terminal has two 150,000m3 tanks and annual throughput capacity of 7.4Bm3. Capacity could be expanded up to 10Bm3 with the construction of a third tank.

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A JV between Shell and Total, Gas de Litoral (GDL), supplies the Altamira terminal with LNG.

"This sale will not affect GDL's obligation to supply LNG to Mexico through Altamira under its contractual obligations to [state power company] CFE. The supply contract with CFE is of the utmost importance for Shell and Total and our commitment both towards CFE and to Mexico remains firm," the Shell spokesperson said.

The spokesperson declined to comment on financial details and Vopak was not immediately available for comment.

The closing of the transaction is subject to the conclusion of project financing and government approvals.