Then there was talk of Pluto Train 2’s “long-term contracted revenue stream with top pier counterparties” and “low operating cost exposure with full contractual pass-through to the Scarborough JV”.
Points five to nine included long-term market demand for LNG (of which Scarborough would be a key participant), Scarborough’s project economics, the new train’s below average emissions intensity, potential “tie-back” opportunities and a flexible financing structure.
The flyer confirmed the bankers were tasked with selling up to a 49 per cent stake in the Pluto Train 2 joint venture, as Woodside itself told investors at its quarterly update on Thursday, including Pluto Train 2 LNG and domestic gas facilities.
It explained that Woodside proposed to develop the Scarborough field, which it also controls and operates, and process the gas at Pluto Train 2, which would have capacity to produce about 5 million tonnes a year. Pluto Train 2 would have a long-term contract back to the Scarborough joint venture, owned by Woodside and BHP.
As we said, there’s plenty of talk about long-term contracted revenue, in what looks like a thinly-disguised effort to lure a long-minded infrastructure buyer.
US firm Global Infrastructure Partners – one of the bidders for Sydney Airport – is expected to take a close look, as well as Australia’s IFM Investors, which bid for a bunch of Queensland gas infrastructure assets late last year, along with all the usual tyrekickers.
The process comes four months after Street Talk reported Woodside had hired Morgan Stanley and Rothschild to manage the selldown. The pitch launched as Woodside acting CEO Meg O’Neill said she had already seen “great interest” from infrastructure investors in the mooted stake.