Gas, Gas Turbines, O&M

Sempra Energy completes $2.3B sale of Chilean electricity stakes

San Diego-based Sempra Energy moved closer to completing its selloff of stakes in South American businesses.

The utilty holding company announced an agreement to sell its equity interests in Chilean businesses. This includes selling its 100-percent stake in Chilquinta Energía, one of that nation’s largest electric distribution companies, to State Grid International Development Limited (SGID).

The $2.3 billion cash sale also includes Sempra’s 100-percent stake in Tecnored S.A., which provides electric construction and infrastructure services to Chilquinta Energía and third parties. Sempra’s 50-percent stake in Eletrans S.A., the Chilean power transmission firm, was another part of the transaction.

Sempra announced it wanted to sell off the South American assets earlier this year to focus on its North American utility businesses. San Diego Gas & Electric, Southern California Gas Co. and Oncor Electric Delivery in Texas are controlled by Sempra.

“This agreement is really important. It moves our company one step closer to completing the sale of our South American businesses and concentrating our investment strategy right here in North America,” said Jeffrey W. Martin, chairman and CEO of Sempra Energy. “All of our companies in Chile, including Chilquinta Energía and Tecnored S.A., are excellent businesses with a strong focus on safety, reliability and customer service. We are so appreciative of the hard work and dedication of our Chilean team over the past 20 years.”

Chilquinta Energía signed an agreement to purchase the remaining 50 percent interest in Eletrans S.A. from Sociedad Austral de Electricidad S.A. Closing of this transaction, which will enable Sempra Energy to transfer 100 percent ownership of Eletrans S.A. to SGID, is contingent on the closing of the sale of Sempra Energy’s Chilean businesses and will not change the economics of the transaction for Sempra Energy.

The sale to SGID is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2020.

Sempra also owns part of newly developed liquefied natural gas infrastructure assets on the U.S. Gulf Coast. The Cameron LNG project near Houston, which is owned by Sempra LNG, Total, Mitsui & Co, and Japan LNG Investment, began commercial operation this summer.