Baar-Zug, Switzerland, 22 December 2016
Partners Group, the global private markets investment manager, has invested in the construction of Raven, a midstream processing facility to be located in Baytown, Texas, on behalf of its clients. Partners Group has invested 50% of the equity in the construction project as the lead independent investor, with the remainder provided by Quanta Capital Solutions, Inc. and institutional investors. Site preparation activities have already begun, with the completion of construction and start of commercial operations currently scheduled for 2018.
The Raven facility is essential energy infrastructure within the North American natural gas liquids (NGL) value chain. The state-of-the-art facility will use proven and clean technology to process ethylene, a readily available derivative of natural gas, into Butene-1, which is used as a critical input in the manufacture of polyethylene and a variety of other products. Long-term, fee-based off-take contracts with no commodity price exposure have been signed with several major petrochemical companies for all of Raven's initial production capacity. The Raven site has the potential for expansion and discussions with potential customers are already underway regarding off-take for additional capacity.
Todd Bright, Managing Director and Head of Private Infrastructure Americas, Partners Group, states: "Within the midstream energy sector in the US, we look for segments of the market where there is a clear gap in mission-critical infrastructure. Raven is a timely project that responds to the need for more processing capacity within the US NGL value chain arising from the abundance of natural gas and the significant expansion of cost-advantaged polyethylene production. The project is strategically located close to critical transport links and presents a number of opportunities for future expansion."
Raven is the latest in a series of investments premised on the abundance of US shale gas that Partners Group has made on behalf of its clients. Most prominently, Partners Group in 2014 acquired a majority stake in Fermaca, a leading provider of natural gas transportation infrastructure in Mexico, after seeing an opportunity to connect the abundant shale gas supply in the US with the growing demand for natural gas in Mexico. In 2015, Partners Group acquired a joint control stake in Sentinel Energy Center, an 800 MW California-based natural gas-fired power generation facility. Sentinel supports the state's increasing emphasis on renewable energy by providing flexible capacity that can start and stop on demand in response to fluctuations in supply from intermittent renewable electricity sources such as wind and solar.
Earlier in 2016, Partners Group invested in the USD 240 million private placement of 10.75% Class A Convertible Preferred Units of NGL Energy Partners LP (NYSE: NGL). NGL Energy Partners owns and operates a vertically integrated energy business with five primary businesses: crude oil logistics, water solutions, liquids, retail propane and refined products and renewables.