Chile's LNG Project Could Expand to 20Mm3/d Output

The planned US$380mn-400mn liquefied natural gas (LNG) re-gasification terminal at Quintero in central Chile's Region V could ultimately be expanded to transport as much as 20 million cubic meters a day (Mm3/d) of gas, a project official said.

State oil company Enap is coordinating the LNG Chile offtaker pool that will finance construction of the LNG terminal along with UK gas company BG Group (NYSE: BG). The pool also includes power generator Endesa Chile (NYSE: EOC) and gas distributor Metrogas.

The terminal will begin operations with 6Mm3/d gas supply and, although the exact size of the prospective plant has not yet been established, a re-gasification plant with two 160,000m3 capacity storage tanks typically has an approximate 10Mm3/d output capacity, according to a previous BNamericas report.

The expansion would relate to the possible installation of a third tank, Enap business development chief Mario del Rio said at a conference on Wednesday. Space rather than operating conditions would prevent the installation of additional tanks.

Project construction will begin in January 2007, with partial supply beginning in 2008 and full operations by 2009, del Rio said.

LNG would give Chile greater energy security and autonomy, necessary since Argentine gas import restrictions began in 2004.

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