Uruguay and Argentina are contacting potential LNG partners

Oct 30, 2007 01:00 AM

Uruguay and Argentina together are contacting several potential partners for the planned 10 mm cmpd LNG regasification plant close to Montevideo.
"Both countries fight over football and the construction of paper mills, but when it comes to energy, Uruguay and Argentina agree on the importance of power supply," said Daniel Martinez, president of Uruguay's state energy company Ancap.

Ancap and Argentina's state energy company Enarsa will be entitled to 5 mm cmpd of LNG each, although Ancap could sell its excess LNG to Argentina or other countries, Martinez said at the 4th Energy Integration Congress in Rio de Janeiro. The plant could be operational in 2011 or 2012, he said.
Potential partners to operate, supply and market the LNG are Spanish major Repsol-YPF, Brazil's federal energy company Petrobras, hydrocarbons producer Pan American Energy and UK gas major BG.

Investments in the plant will be $ 1 bn, Martinez said at the conference. Also at the conference, Petrobras Energia CEO DecioOddone said Petrobras is studying plans to invest in the LNG plant, which he said would range from 6 mm-12 mm cmpd of capacity. In the long term, the LNG plant could double capacity to 20 mm cmpd, Martinez said. A LNG regasification plant would diversify both countries' power supply sources, Martinez said.
"Uruguay has gas pipelines to supply Buenos Aires," he said. "At the same time, [the Montevideo plant] presents clear synergies due to the country's location and could unite gas pipelines from Bolivia, Brazil and Argentina."

The ideal location of a LNG regasification plant in Uruguay would be west of Montevideo bay, which is close to final users and in a densely populated area, Martinez said.
Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez in August promised to construct an LNG plant in Montevideo similar to the $ 450 mm plant his state oil company PdVSA aims to build in Argentina with Enarsa.

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