Unlike other provisions of a toll agreement, the structure of charges may not be consistent with toll agreements concluded in the same project. To achieve project success, financial viability is essential and the ability to generate sufficient cash flow to support project debt and other lender requirements is essential. Toll contracts are governed either by the laws of the various Länder or by federal laws, whichever is subject to charges. This agreement allows the parties to choose the law of the state they wish to regulate for the agreement. The fee structure of a third-party toll contract is generally aimed at obtaining a return on supply, as the toll company takes a limited risk. the pricing interaction is determined by (i) investments in facility construction, operating costs and a fair profit margin for investors who take the project risk; and (ii) the evolution of market price discussions with LNG buyers who, in some cases, hope to decouple oil-based indices from gas-based indices. Market pricing should not be a point of discussion in this paper, except that price discussions and decisions will certainly play a role in the viability of many of the proposed projects in North America. As a general rule, the fee is a component that must be paid, whether or not the processing service is provided, either for pre-agreed quantities of gas to be delivered for processing, or for a capacity right in the LNG facility. The toll company usually needs a basic cash flow to cover the expenses incurred, whether the conversion service is used or not.
Often, processing fees support project financing for export facilities. Lenders advance certain aspects of the fee structure to ensure that credit risk is properly placed and that cash flow is constant throughout the term of the financing. In addition, in most cases, the toll agreement is a “time-bound or paying” agreement, i.e. the toll customer pays for the toll services, whether or not the customer can use those services. Depending on the storage capacity and how the gas is delivered to the toll company for processing, toll customers may want a coordination agreement if two or more parties take care of it through the same project. This agreement generally provides for the borrowing and granting of credits between toll customers, flexibility for toll customers, control of the annual delivery programme and gas delivery plan drawn up by the toll company, as well as the allocation of responsibility. While the toll company must set up an annual delivery programme, as stated above, it is in the interest of toll customers to have this flexibility if they can accept changes together. It goes without saying that all changes proposed under a coordination agreement require the agreement of the toll company.
It is essential that the provisions on the repeal and planning of conditions and procedures (including port use agreements or conditions of use), the measurement method and the allocation of LNG and other by-products are uniform for all toll customers under the same project. Clear and non-discriminatory allocation procedures and measurement principles to accurately determine the right of each toll customer to promote LNG and by-products are important not only for project participants, but also for financiers. Allocation procedures and measurement methods should apply equally to all toll customers and be verifiable by all toll customers using LNG liquefaction facilities. Disputes concerning these provisions are generally subject to expert decision.