Wes Edens, CEO of New Fortress Energy, poses for a photo in front of one of the company’s gas tankers. He got his start as a wisecracking basketball wunderkind and never really stopped being one. It’s not just that he played four years at Oregon State University in the late 1970s. He still has this court jock, high-energy approach to business: The telecom startup Spring Mobile was once referred to around the office as “Spring Break.” His newest venture is no different.
Edens’ latest enterprise is a subsidiary of Fortress Investment Group LLC called New Fortress Energy LLC, which launched early last year with $500 million in private equity from its parent. New Fortress aims to buy or build oil storage, shipping, and trading businesses, then rent them out on a fee basis to producers and traders. It’s essentially a real estate play in the energy business, only bigger than that: It needs giant tankers and pipelines to store the product until it can be sold.
That sort of diverse direct exposure made Edens an early believer in natural gas as the future fuel for trucks, buses, and other commercial vehicles. So in October last year, he locked up nine years of supply with his first major project – a deal to secure 7 million barrels of shale gas from landowner Noble Energy Inc.’s (NBL) plant in Louisiana for delivery into the East Coast refineries by tanker ships. The deal was worth about $2.5 billion and was followed by another in January for 8 million more barrels from Noble’s Michigan-based plant for delivery into the Midwest.
Wes Edens has since been on the hunt to do bigger deals. He found them this month: a two-continent LNG import deal of as much as 2 million metric tons per year with Sri Lanka and a nearly 10 times larger gas purchase agreement to supply Latin America’s largest refinery at the cost of over $1 billion over 20 years. It makes Wes Edens one of the biggest players in what has become one of New Fortress’s growth areas – liquefied natural gas storage, transport, and distribution – and gives him an early leg up in one of Asia’s most gas-starved markets.
Original source to learn more: https://stocktwits.com/WesEdens