Enap to Announce LNG Tender Bidders Friday

Chile's state oil company Enap received bids for the construction of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) regasification terminal project in central Chile on Tuesday and will most likely announce the names of the bidders on Friday, an Enap spokesperson told BNamericas.

The pool of consumers led by Enap, which is planning to buy gas from the terminal, had planned to announce the winner of the tender by February 15, according to a previous BNamericas report.

However, a recent report by local paper Estrategia citing sources close to the process indicated that a decision could be announced within fifteen days after the tender or perhaps even the same day.

Companies participating in the tender include UK firms BG Group (LSE: BG) and BP (LSE: BP), Anglo-Dutch oil major Shell (LSE : RDSB), Belgium's Suez Energy (LSE: SUE) and Spain's Repsol YPF (LSE: REP), according to previous local press reports.

Aside from Enap the pool of consumers includes local power generators Endesa (BME: ELE), AES Gener (NYSE: AES) and Colbun (SSE: COL) as well as Metrogas (NYSE: MGS). The group of companies formed special purpose company Gestora del Proyecto GNL in November 2005.

The offtaker pool will buy at least eight million cubic meters a day (Mm3/d) of gas from the project, which will initially have an output capacity of 9-10Mm3/d.

Investment in the regasification plant itself is estimated at about US$400mn, with construction scheduled to start April-June this year, according to previous BNamericas reports.

The pool is reportedly divided on whether the project will actually begin operations in 2008 as originally planned or afterwards and if the price of the gas should be US$4 per MBTU or higher, according to local paper El Mercurio.

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