Sunday, March 11, 2012

LNG regasification plant to get first shipment next week

Mexico City (Platts)--9 Mar 2012/213 pm EST/1913 GMT

After a seven-month delay, an initial shipment of LNG from Repsol's Camisea project in Peru will be delivered late next week to Mexico's newest regasification terminal at Manzanillo on the Pacific Coast, the state of Colima said Friday.

"We've been told there are going to be a couple of shipments a month at this stage, and the first is due to arrive on March 16," Alejandro Carbajal, a government spokesman, said Friday. "Then, on March 28, there will be a formal inauguration ceremony for the regasification plant," he added.

The 500,000 Mc/d regasification plant, built and owned by a consortium of Samsung and Mitsui, each with a stake of 37.5%, and Korea Gas, with 25%, is the third of its type in Mexico. The capacity owner is the Federal Electricity Commission.

Construction of the plant was completed early of last September, and CFE has not explained the delay in its start-up. Other sources, however, have said the main problem was a lack of planning.

They cite the fact that a channel into the lagoon meant to provide harbor for the LNG ships had to be dredged, and that took much longer than had been foreseen. In addition, a railroad and a highway around the lagoon had to be re-routed.

The regasification plant will form an energy hub for much of western Mexico. It will also mark the arrival of the CFE as a wholesaler of natural gas to rival the current domination of the state-owned oil company, Pemex.

A 300 km natural gas pipeline has already been built between Manzanillo and Guadalajara by TransCanada at a cost of about $348 million.

Guadalajara is Mexico's second largest city, with a population of some 4 million inhabitants.

Several power plants, one in Manzanillo, the other in Guadalajara, also will use gas from the regasification facility.

--Ron Buchanan,

President Felipe Calderon will be visiting Manzanillo to inaugurate the federal government project


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