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Industry News

Florida LNG Proponents Team Up

LCG, December 15, 2004--FPL Group, Tractebel North America (TNA), and El Paso Corporation announced plans to combine efforts to develop an LNG terminal in the Bahamas, including an underwater gas pipeline to south Florida and a related gas marketing company. The additional gas supplies will help serve Florida's growing demand for natural gas, which is driven by planned, gas-fired electric generators.

El Paso filed its application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) last month to build and operate the proposed Seafarer natural gas pipeline, which will transport gas nearly 130 miles from the proposed High Rock LNG regasification facility in the Bahamas to an intertie with the Florida Gas Transmission pipeline system in Palm Beach County, Florida. El Paso plans for construction on the 26-inch diameter pipeline to begin in 2006 and for the pipeline to be in service by 2008.

Similarly, a TNA affiliate is developing the Calypso pipeline project, which is designed to deliver gas from a proposed LNG terminal in Freeport, Grand Bahama, to Broward County, Florida. The Calypso project has received its FERC certificate and environmental approvals from the State of Florida and Broward County. With the newly executed agreements, affiliates of FPL Group and TNA will merge their development efforts. A newly combined pipeline development group and terminal development group will work to obtain permitting so that either proposed pipeline or terminal can be completed, thus best enabling one, optimal project to be constructed.

FPL Group affiliates have an option to purchase 100 percent of the development rights of El Paso's proposed LNG terminal and 50 percent of the proposed Seafarer pipeline. Upon completion of new agreements, affiliates of FPL Group, TNA and El Paso will be equity owners of both the Seafarer and Calypso pipeline projects and will plan to build one pipeline from an LNG terminal in the Bahamas to Florida. Furthermore, affiliates of FPL Group and TNA will be equal owners of the LNG terminal in the Bahamas and a marketing company based in Florida named Sailfish Natural Gas Company, Ltd.

Agreements are already in place between El Paso and FPL Group affiliates for 800,000 MMBtu/day of pipeline capacity. At the gas production end, an FPL Group affiliate has entered into an exclusive relationship with RasGas (II), a 70:30 joint venture between Qatar Petroleum and ExxonMobil, with an expectation of completing an LNG sale and purchase agreement for approximately 800,000 MMBtu/day to be delivered at an LNG terminal in Qatar over a 25-year period beginning in mid 2008. In November it was announced that the Import-Export Bank of the United States agreed to extend a loan guarantee of up to $930 million to support the export of U.S. goods and services to Qatar Liquefied Gas Co. Ltd. in order to build a LNG project in Qatar.

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