Enap is developing a project to build an LNG re-gasification terminal at the port of Quintero in central Chile's Region V to reduce dependence on Argentine gas imports.
"There is also the possibility for an interested party to invest in an additional power generation project," Dávila said.
Enap would buy some of the plant's power for refinery operations, and the surplus would go into Chile's central grid, known as the SIC, he said. The size of the plant would depend on the investor and the electricity demand, Dávila said.
The plant would require some 1.5 million cubic meters a day (mm3/d) of gas in addition to the 1.5mm3/d that the refinery would use, Dávila said, which would guarantee at least 3mcm/d of gas demand for the LNG plant.
Enap envisages a larger project in which a pool of private power generators and gas distributors would buy additional volumes. Initially the LNG terminal would provide 3-5mm3/d, but that could increase up to 15-18mm3/d, Dávila said.
Chile currently imports some 22mm3/d of gas from Argentina but demand could rise to 42mm3/d over the next 15 years.
Enap canceled a tender at end-2004 for a BOT (build-operate-transfer) contract for a cogeneration plant at the refinery.
Bids were submitted January-March 2004, but Enap did not consider them "convenient," logistics and commercial manager Julio Friedman told reporters.
Environmental studies and technical specification studies for the terminal will begin in 2Q05, Dávila said. Enap will then launch an international tender for construction of the terminal in April, Dávila said. Offers would be received in May-June and Enap would award the contract in July-September. Operations are set for 2008. It will be the first terminal of its kind in South America. Enap has hired Linklaters as legal advisor on the project and Citigroup Global Markets as the investment bank.
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