Magnolia LNG

Magnolia LNG is a proposed liquefied natural gas export terminal planned near Lake Charles. 

The Australian parent company behind the Magnolia LNG project near Lake Charles sold the operation to a British business with a significant presence in Lafayette. 

Global Energy Megatrend Ltd. is expected to pay $2.25 million to LNG Ltd. in a deal slated to close on May 15, which includes all liabilities and those related to its 16 employees. The deal also includes patented liquefied natural gas technology. 

Global Energy Megatrend describes itself as an integrated natural gas company that has been leasing U.S. natural gas fields and investing in pipelines that lead to Louisiana ports and LNG export terminals. 

Company co-founders include Lafayette businessmen Bill Miller of Miller Energy LLC, Ben Blanchet and Eddie Moses of Miller Thomson & Partners LLC. It also has co-founders in London. 

Ben Blanchet is the CEO of Global Energy Megatrend and is overseeing the company from offices in Lafayette. Blanchet is a major land owner in the Abbeville Salt Dome field and has experience contracting with the China National Petroleum Corp. and drilling in China. 

The company has been interested in the company behind Magnolia LNG long before the business became potentially insolvent, Blanchet said. 

"We have been in discussions with the company about these assets for quite some time," Blanchet said. 

The business expects to acquire more than just federal permits for the LNG export terminal. The deal includes land, detailed engineering plans and a contract for development, in addition to the underlying technology. 

"We're buying a company that is poised to more forward and develop that plant," he said. "They have done a terrific job in putting all those components together, but unfortunately they just ran out of money.

"There are some enormous short-term hurdles, but we believe in the long-term viability of it," he said. 

The company doesn't anticipate hiring many new employees at first, since it's acquiring the existing workforce, but does expect to support significant construction jobs. Blanchet declined to discuss a timeline for the project, financing details and customer contracts. 

LNG Ltd. recently appointed administrators who were tasked with dealing with a potential insolvency; the company was on track to run out of money this month. In Australia, where LNG Ltd. is headquartered, administration is akin to Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization in the United States.

LNG Ltd. had expected to be sold in a $75 million deal to Singapore-based LNG9 Ltd., but investors pulled out after a  loan fell through.

Magnolia LNG was expected to export 8.8 million tons of LNG each year, but has not started construction. The project already has permits from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Acadiana Business Today: Parents return to work with lack of affordable child care options; Magnolia LNG project sold to British business with Lafayette ties

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