US-based pipeline operator Kinder Morgan has completed the divestment of a 25.5% interest in Elba Liquefaction Company (ELC) to an undisclosed financial buyer in a deal worth approximately $565m.

ELC owns and operates the Elba liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facility, located on Elba Island in Chatham County, Georgia.

The stake sale comes amid surging demand for US LNG from European nations, which are facing fuel cuts from Russia, reported Reuters.

Kinder Morgan Interstate Natural Gas president Kimberly Watson said: “We are pleased to welcome a new partner into the ELC joint venture.

“Recent geopolitical events have proven how critical liquefied natural gas infrastructure is to meeting global energy demand. We believe this investment further shows the value of LNG and demonstrates the important role it will play for decades to come.”

The proceeds from the sale will be used by Kinder for investments, including share repurchases, and reducing short-term debt.

The Elba liquefaction facility comprises ten modular liquefaction units with a total LNG capacity of approximately 2.5 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa). This is equivalent to nearly 0.35 billion cubic feet (Bcf) per day of natural gas.

The LNG is then delivered by ELC to the 100% Kinder Morgan-owned Southern LNG Company, which owns and operates the Elba Island LNG Terminal, for export.

After the closing of the sale transaction, Kinder Morgan will own a 25.5% interest in ELC and continue to serve as the facility operator.

Private equity giant Blackstone’s credit investment unit, Blackstone Credit, owns a 49% stake in ELC.

The equity interest value implies an enterprise value of approximately $2.3bn for ELC, which was formed in 2017 to construct and own the liquefaction units in operation at Elba Island.