Panama-based Gas Natural Atlantico, a subsidiary of AES Corp., has won a competitive bid process conducted by state-owned Electric Transmission Company, SA (ETESA) to supply 350 MW of new capacity. While the project is primarily focused on power generation, it will benefit many sectors including marine engine fuel and road transportation.
The project will include the construction of a 350 MW combined cycle natural gas-fired plant with a 10-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), and a 170,000 m3 LNG storage tank and regasification facility, to supply gas to the plant, as well as to potentially serve growing demand for natural gas in Central America.
“Together with our local partner, Inversiones Bahia, we will construct a low emission combined cycle power plant, which will be fueled by LNG via the new regasification terminal on Panama’s Atlantic coast,” said Andrés Gluski, AES President and Chief Executive Officer. “Building a state of the art LNG regasification terminal near the entrance of the enlarged Panama Canal will enable Panama to become an energy hub for Central America and the Caribbean, by supplying lower cost, reliable and sustainable fuel, which will benefit many sectors, including electricity generation, transportation and ship bunkering.”
AES expects to sign the 10-year PPA by the end of 2015 and construction is expected to begin in early 2016, with commercial operations expected in 2018.
The option to include bunkering near the Panama Canal expands AES’s regional bunkering facilities following the announcement last month by AES Dominicana, an affiliate of AES Corporation, to turn its AES Andres LNG terminal in the Dominican Republic into an LNG transshipment and bunkering hub for the Caribbean, Central and South America by 2016.