SAN DIEGO, May 15, 2006 – Sempra LNG, a unit of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), today announced that the company has received non-binding expressions of interest in the potential expansion of its Energía Costa Azul liquefied natural gas (LNG) receipt terminal in Baja California, Mexico, totaling 2.9 billion cubic feet of gas per day (Bcfd) -- nearly double the proposed scope of the expansion project
A non-binding open season, which began April 17, 2006, and continued through May 12, 2006, was conducted to solicit interest from shippers in an additional 1.5 Bcfd of LNG processing capacity beyond the terminal’s initial capacity of 1 Bcfd.
“This successful open season demonstrates the strategic significance of our Energía Costa Azul receipt terminal, which will be the first of its kind on the West Coast of North America,” said Darcel Hulse, president of Sempra LNG. “We certainly are pleased with the strong market interest in our facility and look forward to finalizing commercial agreements.”
Under the terms of the open season, shippers had to submit their interest to participate in the expansion phase of this project. Sempra LNG immediately will begin working with the shippers who submitted bids, to develop binding terminal service agreements.
The ultimate size, scope and cost of Energía Costa Azul’s expansion will depend upon the outcome of the negotiations for commercial agreements. Construction on the initial phase of the terminal to develop 1 Bcf of capacity is more than 30-percent complete. The terminal, which is located 15 miles north of Ensenada in Baja California, is expected to be operational in early 2008. Pending regulatory approvals and successful commercial negotiations, the expansion could become operational as early as 2010.
The open season was conducted in accordance with the Mexican laws and regulations governing open-access terminals.
Sempra LNG oversees LNG project development. Sempra Energy, based in San Diego, is a Fortune 500 energy services holding company with 2005 revenues of $11.7 billion. The Sempra Energy companies’ 14,000 employees serve more than 29 million consumers in the United States, Europe, Canada, Mexico, South America and Asia.
This press release contains statements that are not historical fact and constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. When the company uses words like “believes,” “expects,” “anticipates,” “intends,” “plans,” “estimates,” “may,” “would,” “should” or similar expressions, or when the company discusses its strategy or plans, the company is making forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of performance. They involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions. Future results may differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are necessarily based upon various assumptions involving judgments with respect to the future and other risks, including, among others: local, regional, national and international economic, competitive, political, legislative and regulatory conditions and developments; actions by the California Public Utilities Commission, the California State Legislature, the California Department of Water Resources, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and other regulatory bodies in the United States and other countries; capital markets conditions, inflation rates, interest rates and exchange rates; energy and trading markets, including the timing and extent of changes in commodity prices; the availability of natural gas; weather conditions and conservation efforts; war and terrorist attacks; business, regulatory, environmental, and legal decisions and requirements; the status of deregulation of retail natural gas and electricity delivery; the timing and success of business development efforts; the resolution of litigation; and other uncertainties, all of which are difficult to predict and many of which are beyond the control of the company. These risks and uncertainties are further discussed in the company’s reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission that are available through the EDGAR system without charge at its Web site, www.sec.gov and on the company’s Web site, www.sempra.com.
Sempra LNG is not the same company as the utilities, SDG&E or SoCalGas, and Sempra LNG is not regulated by the California Public Utilities Commission.