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Herbert Smith Freehills advises China's ENN on billion-dollar acquisition of US LNG supply 

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Tanks and Terminals,

Leading global law firm Herbert Smith Freehills has advised China energy major ENN on its first acquisition in the US LNG market.

ENN has acquired the rights to a 20-year liquefaction tolling agreement with Texas-based Freeport LNG from Japan's Toshiba Corporation. The contract guarantees access to around 2.2 million tpy of US LNG.

The transaction is also the first investment by a private Chinese company in the US LNG market and is subject to regulatory approvals.

"China's consumption of LNG is rising dramatically year on year as it switches to cleaner sources of power," said partner Hilary Lau, who led the Herbert Smith Freehills team advising ENN.  "This is a landmark deal for ENN, and strengthens its position as one of China's leading clean energy suppliers."

Located on the Texas coast, Freeport LNG is one of the first and largest US exporters of LNG. With the massive increase in US shale gas production for export, the facility is adding three liquefaction trains to its existing import facility. The project will export over 15 million tpy of LNG once it comes fully on line in Q3 2019.

"This major transaction demonstrates our ability to complete complex first-in-market energy deals for Asian clients working in competitive global markets," said Asia managing partner Justin D'Agostino.

"The strength of our energy team across the globe helped ENN secure this essential LNG supply from one of the US' largest suppliers."

Hilary was assisted from China by partner Monica Sun, senior associates James Zhang, Calvin Ho, associates Charles Wong and Quijie Tan, and trainee Kaiwen Sun.

In New York, senior associates Marianna Schneider and Micaela McLean advised on New York law issues, and visiting associates Paola Ordonez Arias and Natalia Mauad also assisted with due diligence review.

New York counsel Jonathan Cross and Hong Kong associate Howard Chan advised on competition and regulatory aspects of the transaction.


External counsel Jones Walker advised on US pensions, employment and regulatory law, while Richards Layton & Finger provided Delaware law support.

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