TOKYO/SYDNEY - ExxonMobil Corp has awarded contracts for parts of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in Papua New Guinea to Japan's Chiyoda Corp and JGC Corp, Exxon said in a statement on Wednesday.
Analysts expect the order for the 6.6 million tonnes-per-year LNG plant, including facilities for processing, treating natural gas, liquefaction and storage, to be worth at around $45 million.
The market had been watching whether Chiyoda would win the contract after the company had secured only 73 billion yen ($825 million) in orders in the first half, about a quarter of its annual target of 440 billion yen.
Chiyoda booked a first-half operating loss of 2.38 billion yen due to additional construction costs for LNG projects in Qatar.
In contrast, rival JGC recently boosted its annual contract target to 700 billion yen from 500 billion yen, citing a favourable market environment.
It was a surprise that JGC was also in the running in the project, said Yoichiro Watanabe of Mito Securities. Now it's clear JGC will be able to achieve its new target of winning 700 billion yen in orders this business year, he said.
Shares of JGC edged down 0.6 percent, outperforming the broader market, after the Nikkei business paper first reported the news. Chiyoda slid 6.5 percent, partly on profit-taking after rising 1.8 percent on Tuesday on anticipation of winning the bid.
Others to get contracts for Exxon's $15 billion project include Italy's Saipem (SPMI.MI), Australia's Clough and McConnell Dowell. (Reporting by Yuko Inoue in Tokyo, Denny Thomas in Sydney; Editing by Chris Gallagher)