AES Inaugurates Panama LNG Terminal
US-based AES said August 17 it had inaugurated its $1.15bn AES Colon project, a 381-MW combined cycle power plant and Central America’s first LNG receiving terminal.
The power plant and regasification terminal will begin commercial operations on September 1, AES said, while the 70 trillion Btu (2bn m3) LNG storage tank, the largest in Central America, will enter service in the second half of 2019. Both were originally scheduled to open this year at a combined cost of about $1bn. The LNG import terminal received its first commissioning cargo of LNG in mid-June.
“The inauguration of AES Colon is a significant step toward diversifying the energy mix in Central America and the Caribbean, introducing cleaner alternatives in Panama and beyond,” AES CEO Andres Gluski said. “We expect that the entry of low-cost US LNG will transform the Central American energy sector, much as it has in the Dominican Republic.”
Initially, AES Colon will use 20 trillion Btu (0.56bn m3) of gas annually, with US imports of around $140mn/year. The LNG terminal has an annual import capacity of 80 trillion Btu (2.25bn m3, or 1.6mn mt/yr) creating the potential for more than $500mn/yr of US LNG imports and leaving 60 trillion Btu of natural gas available to power generation, commercial, industrial, transportation and marine bunkering customers throughout Central America.
The project was completed in 27 months, creating more than 2,700 construction jobs and 200 operating jobs. Once in use, it will help reduce CO2 emissions from oil-fired generating facilities by about 4mn tons.
(Banner photo of AES Colon courtesy AES Corporation)