Chile's Energy Ministry to Submit Report on LNG Project Viability

Chile's energy and mines ministry will submit a report in coming days analyzing the viability of the planned liquefied natural gas (LNG) plants in the country's north, a ministry source told BNamericas, confirming a report in newspaper El Mercurio.

The report will go to companies interested in developing an LNG project.

Chile's state copper company Codelco has been negotiating to create the consortium that would develop a LNG re-gasification terminal project in the city of Mejillones in Region II.

Anglo-Australian resources group BHP Billiton (NYSE: BHP), Chilean copper miner Dona Ines de Collahuasi and US major Phelps Dodge (NYSE: PD) already have joined the consortium, the paper reported.

Meanwhile, the Suez Energy Andino unit of Belgium's Suez Energy and Chilean generator GasAtacama will work together on a separate LNG re-gasification terminal project in Region II, the paper reported in a separate article.

The two companies will sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) within coming days to define the terms and timeline of the project that would supply LNG to northern Chile in the long term, the paper reported.

Neither company was available for comment when contacted by BNamericas late Tuesday. Suez had been evaluating a US$85mn terminal that could supply LNG from July 2008-December 2011.

The ministry source said only one LNG project in the north would be executed.

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