Another LNG regas project
In the usual out-of-the-blue style, President Hugo Chávez surprised markets by announcing that he and his Argentine counterpart Néstor Kirchner will through the state-owned energy companies build a $400-million regas plant at possibly Bahía Blanca, located about 600km south of Buenos Aires. Supposedly the output of the regas plant will be 10 million cu m/d and take two years to build.
The project, like recent Argentine government plans to build 1.5GW of gas-fired power plants by 2008, has left some scratching their heads on this one.
Venezuela has aspired since the 1980s to build a liquefaction plant called then the Cristobal Colón project, which has been renamed Mariscal Sucre. PdVSA has tried without luck to build the$2.7-billion liquefaction plant with ExxonMobil, Shell, Mitsubishi, QatarGas, Repsol YPF and lately with Petrobras.
One of the reasons why PdVSA has had a hard time launching the plant with a partner is cost and the close proximity of Trinidad & Tobago, the biggest LNG exporter in the region. Some believe that it would be more convenient for Venezuela to supply gas to Trinidad & Tobago rather than start to compete with the tiny Caribbean country.
So here’s the question: Where is Venezuela going to get the LNG and how many ships does it have at its disposal to transport the liquefied gas to Argentina?
Could somebody tell me what I don’t know?