Mexico Woos Companies on LNG Project

Tuesday, March 28, 2006
Mexico is talking to half a dozen companies ahead of opening tenders next month to build and supply a liquefied natural gas terminal at the Pacific port of Manzanillo. The Federal Electricity Commission will open the tenders in the first half of April, after spending time discussing details of the LNG project with potential bidders. Analysts expect to see interest in the building tender from global LNG players like Chevron, Repsol-YPF, Sempra Energy and Royal Dutch Shell. For a parallel tender to select suppliers of LNG for the $430 million, 500 million cubic feet per day plant, the CFE is talking to companies in gas-rich nations like Australia, Bolivia and Peru. Analysts see Peru's Camisea gas field well placed to win. A third tender, to build a pipeline from the terminal to the national gas pipeline grid, will follow at a later date. The Manzanillo LNG import terminal and regasification plant, to be co-run by the energy ministry, the state-owned CFE and state energy monopoly Pemex, is one of a handful being built in Mexico to end a reliance on costly U.S. natural gas imports. The Manzanillo plant, due to be operational from 2010, will supply various power plants in the western state of Colima. The CFE, which generates a third of its power from natural gas, sees electricity consumption in Mexico growing by an average of 5.2 percent per year between now and 2014. (Source: Reuters)

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