CFE, Pemex Launch Manzanillo LNG Tender

Mexico's state-owned electricity company CFE and state oil company Pemex have launched a tender for the construction of a US$430mn liquefied natural gas (LNG) regasification project in Manzanillo, Colima state, Pemex, CFE and the energy ministry said in a joint statement.

Energy minister Fernando Canales presented the project to Mexico's President Vicente Fox in a special ceremony on Sunday in Manzanillo.

Canales told Fox the bidding rules have been published on the internet, but they were not available to the public on Monday morning.

A draft of the Manzanillo LNG project timetable obtained by BNamericas said CFE will start construction of the port facilities in April 2006 and construction of the LNG regasification terminal in June.

CFE and Pemex plan to call for bids on the construction contract by April 2006 at the latest, a CFE spokesperson told BNamericas.

In its first stage the project will process about 500 million cubic feet a day of LNG and supply gas to the 1,200MW Manzanillo I and 700MW Manzanillo II thermoelectric plants in Colima state, the 565MW Bajo and 866MW Salamanca plants in Guanajuato state and the 601MW El Sauz plant in Queretaro state.

The project will also supply gas to the new Guadalajara I and II combined cycle projects in Jalisco state.

The LNG regasification project will be built in three years and create 1,500 jobs.

The project will allow CFE to convert its Manzanillo thermoelectric plant to use natural gas instead of fuel oil, increasing operational efficiency 75% and reducing atmospheric emissions.

In addition, the energy ministry plans to launch a tender for the 160km Manzanillo-Guadalajara gas pipeline with capacity to transport 1 billion cubic feet a day of gas, which would connect the LNG regasification project to demand centers in western Mexico, the statement said.

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