Tractebel Buys Site for US$500mn LNG Terminal

Belgian energy company Tractebel is in the process of acquiring a site for a US$500mn liquefied natural gas (LNG) regasification project at Lazaro Cardenas in Mexico's Michoacan state, Tractebel LNG CEO Clay Harris told BNamericas.

Tractebel will start the formal permitting process for the site once the acquisition is completed, expected sometime "in the next few months," Harris said. Tractebel LNG is the company's midstream organization that transports LNG and would manage the regasification plant. Tractebel Mexico would manage the downstream stages of the plant. Tractebel has no plans for a new power generation plant at Lazaro Cardenas, and would "pull the project on the basis of the three LDCs [local distribution companies] and one CCGT [combined cycle power plant] that we have in Mexico," Harris said.

Talks are underway with state oil company Pemex, whose pipeline network Tractebel will have to use to transport the gas within Mexico. Tractebel is also continuing talks with "viable suppliers" of LNG for the project. Construction of the regasification plant will probably start in 2004 and be ready for operations in 2007-08, Harris continued. Tractebel will seek partners for the plant, he added. "It makes sense for us to seek partners with experience in the upstream side of the business so we can focus on the downstream market," Tractebel's international electricity and gas president Dirk Beeuwsaert told BNamericas previously.

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