AES Denies LNG Talks with Repsol, For Now

US energy company AES (NYSE: AES) is still waiting for final approval from the Bahamian government for a US$650mn project to send gas to Florida from a liquefied natural gas (LNG) regasification plant at Ocean Key, and until then will make no announcements on possible partnership arrangements, project manager Aaron Samson told BNamericas.

Samson was responding to press reports quoting the Bahamas trade and industry minister Leslie Miller as saying that Spain's Repsol-YPF would take a 50% stake in the project.

"We have been working with Repsol for a number of months," Samson said, "but you won't see any announcement about any partnership structures or any other activity until we have finalized some of these other milestones."

AES originally expected to have started construction in the first half of this year, but has fallen behind because of licensing delays. The project is fully permitted in the US, and in recent weeks AES has had a series of meetings with the Bahamas' attorney general's office, Samson said. "We expect to be complete soon," he added.

If Repsol YPF were to partner with AES, it would probably source its gas from its equity share in Trinidad & Tobago's Atlantic LNG project.

Repsol's managing director there, Pedro Vaticón, had no comment when contacted by BNamericas.

The AES project is one of three projects that would send regasified LNG to Florida from the Bahamas. The other two belong to Belgium's Tractebel and US company El Paso, and all three are anxious to start as soon as possible to try and gain an advantage over the competition in being the first project to start gas deliveries in the rapidly growing Florida market.

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