? AltaGas announced an agreement to form a 50/50 joint venture with Idemitsu Kosan Co. Ltd. to pursue opportunities involving the export of LPG and LNG from Canada to Asia. In Idemitsu, AltaGas gets a well-capitalized partner with LPG shipping and Asian distribution capabilities.
? Idemitsu should increase access to Asian markets, and Japan in particular, through its 51% ownership of Astomos Energy. Astomos controls about 15% of the world's very large gas carriers (VLGCs). Furthermore, Astomos has a significant LP gas import and distribution network throughout Japan.
? The JV expects to complete feasibility studies for LPG exports in 2013 and LNG exports in 2014. LPG and LNG exports could start as soon as 2016 and 2017, respectively. Idemitsu disclosed JV plans to construct a 2MM metric ton (285 MMcf/d) LNG facility.
? We view this announcement as positive for AltaGas as it increases the potential growth opportunities related to Canadian west coast energy exports. Potential JV capital expenditures are not yet known, however, we believe it could be as much as $650MM to $1B. PT to $37.50 from $35