Inergy, L.P.(NYSE:NRGY) announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Inergy Midstream, LLC, has executed a definitive agreement to purchase Tres Palacios Gas Storage LLC, the owner of the Tres Palacios natural gas storage facility, for $725 million plus reimbursement of certain capital expenditures and subject to customary net working capital adjustments.
Located in Matagorda County, Texas, Tres Palacios is a high deliverability, salt dome natural gas storage facility with approximately 38.4 Bcf of working gas capacity including 27.1 Bcf of current working gas capacity (Caverns 1 and 2) and 11.4 Bcf of incremental working gas capacity scheduled to be placed in service in the fourth calendar quarter of 2010 (Cavern 3). The facility is expandable by an additional 9.5 Bcf of working gas capacity which Inergy expects to place in service by or before 2014 (Cavern 4).
Located approximately 100 miles southwest of Houston, Tres Palacios is currently connected to a total of 10 intrastate and interstate pipelines via a 40 mile, 24” dual-pipe, looped header system offering connectivity to multiple demand markets including the Houston and San Antonio metropolitan areas and the broader Texas markets as well as markets in the Northeast, Midwest, Southeast, and Mid-Atlantic United States and Mexico.
Tres Palacios offers customers greater than six-turn gas storage capability with maximum withdrawal capacity of 2.5 Bcf/day and maximum injection capacity of 1 Bcf/day.
“In addition to the specific capacity expansion plans at Tres Palacios, we expect to pursue a number of additional development opportunities around this asset with advantaged economics similar to our strategy and successful expansion efforts around our initial Stagecoach storage facility investment in the Northeast,” said John Sherman, President and CEO of Inergy, L.P.
Approximately 90% of the existing storage capacity at Tres Palacios is under firm storage contracts; and Inergy expects to enter into firm storage contracts for the capacity scheduled to be placed into service in the fourth quarter, consistent with its strategy of delivering stable, predictable cash flows for unitholders. Inergy expects the Tres Palacios acquisition to be immediately accretive to distributable cash flow per common unit of Inergy, L.P.
The Tres Palacios acquisition creates a significant additional gas storage footprint to Inergy’s existing platform and creates the largest independent natural gas storage provider in the United States. In addition to the approximate 38.4 Bcf of storage capacity (Caverns 1, 2 and 3), Tres Palacios provides Inergy attractive future expansion opportunities on the Markham salt dome. If fully developed, the Markham salt dome has the capacity to support in excess of 150 Bcf of natural gas storage capacity, subject to market demand. “The Tres Palacios facility is well positioned to supply the large daily needs of the Texas natural gas fired power generation market as well as leverage Inergy’s existing customer relationships in the natural gas storage industry,” said Bill Moler, Senior Vice President of Inergy Midstream.
Completion of the transaction, which Inergy anticipates will occur within the next 60 days, is subject to approval under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act and other customary closing conditions. Inergy expects that the closing of the Tres Palacios acquisition will occur prior to Inergy’s previously announced simplification transaction with Inergy Holdings, L.P., which is currently anticipated to occur during the fourth calendar quarter of 2010.