Woodside secures $1 billion financing for mega gas project

Japan Bank for International Cooperation agrees loan for project that underpins Japan’s energy security

Woodside Energy chief operating officer Meg O'Neill.
Woodside Energy chief operating officer Meg O’Neill.Photo: Woodside Energy

Woodside Energy on Thursday signed a US$1 billion loan agreement with the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) that will fund Woodside’s Scarborough gas and LNG project in Australia.

The loan agreement, executed in Tokyo, Japan, between Woodside chief executive Meg O’Neill and JBIC deputy governor Kazuhiko Amakawa, further strengthens the operator’s balance sheet, providing diversity of funding and liquidity.

The agreement follows a memorandum of understanding signed by the duo in November 2022 aimed at securing a stable supply of energy for Japan and to assist in achieving its decarbonisation goals.

O’Neill said the loan reflected the longstanding relationship between the two companies and ongoing confidence from Japanese investors in Woodside’s Australian liquefied natural gas projects.

“JBIC has supported all of Woodside’s milestone Australian projects including the North West Shelf, Pluto LNG and now Scarborough. It is therefore fitting that we have executed this agreement in the same week that Woodside celebrates 35 years of secure and reliable LNG exports to Japan.

“Investment in new Australian LNG supply, like Scarborough, can help Japanese customers meet their energy security needs while also supporting regional decarbonisation goals,” she said.

Amakawa said the loan recognised Woodside’s role, as the operator of major Australian LNG projects, in delivering energy to Japan.

“This loan will contribute toward securing long-term, stable supplies of LNG, which is an important energy resource for Japan,” he said.

The Scarborough energy project is on schedule for its maiden LNG cargo in 2026.

Work at the Pluto LNG facility that will handle Scarborough’s gas is proceeding with the ongoing arrival and installation of the Pluto Train 2 modules on site in Karratha, Western Australia.

Approximately 5 million tonnes per annum of Scarborough gas will be processed through Pluto Train 2, with up to 3 million tpa being processed through the existing Pluto Train 1.

Meanwhile, installation of Scarborough’s subsea infrastructure and the development drilling programme is continuing while the floating production unit’s living quarters have been installed on the topsides.

The loan signing with JBIC follows Woodside’s previously announced sale of two non-operating participating interests in the Scarborough Joint Venture to JERA (15.1%, completion subject to conditions precedent) to LNG Japan (10%, completed in March 2024).