AES, Bahamas Could Sign LNG Accord this Week
US energy company AES (NYSE: AES) could sign a heads of agreement with the Bahamas government this week for its proposed US$650mn liquefied natural gas (LNG) re-gasification terminal at Ocean Key, AES project manager Aaron Samson told BNamericas.
The project would send 842 million cubic feet a day of gas to Florida. "AES has reached the stage where they have completed the heads of agreement and the government is reviewing it," the Bahamas' ministry of trade and industry deputy director of economics Hugh Chase told BNamericas.
AES' Ocean Key project is the most advanced project to send gas to Florida from the Bahamas after the government rejected two proposed terminal sites for the combined Seafarer/Calypso project.
At end-December Belgian power group Tractebel and US companies El Paso and FPL Group Resources signed a three-way agreement to unite the El Paso/FPL Seafarer project and Tractebel's Calypso project.
El Paso is focused exclusively on the pipeline aspect of the project and will not be involved in the development of the re-gasification facility in the Bahamas. The company therefore left the decision of which site to use - Seafarer's site at High Rock south of Freeport or Calypso's at Freeport - to the Bahamas' government, Tractebel and FPL Resources.
The Bahamas Environment Science and Technology (BEST) commission advised the government not to approve Tractebel's Calypso project proposal because the site at Freeport was deemed inappropriate, Chase said. Although Freeport harbor has industrial facilities, cruise ships dock in the area, making it unsuitable for an LNG terminal, he added. El Paso's site at High Rock was also rejected, the Nassau Guardian quoted trade and industry minister Leslie Miller as saying. However, AES' Ocean Key site is on an uninhabited island, which has helped the permitting process because it is far from a city, a ministry source told BNamericas at the end of last year.
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