San Diego-based Sempra Energy's liquefied natural gas (LNG) unit announced Monday it will hold an open season for nonbinding bids for capacity in what could be up to a 1.5 Bcf/d expansion of the company's Energia Costa Azul LNG receiving terminal now under construction.
The open season will begin April 17 and conclude May 12 for the terminal located along the Pacific Coast of North Baja, Mexico.
Sempra said that applications for expansion-related permits have been filed with Mexico's national energy regulatory agency, Comision Reguladora de Energia (CRE), and Mexico's environmental protection agency (SEMARNAT). The initial 1 Bcf/d capacity terminal, which is currently fully subscribed, is about 30% along in the construction process that calls for a start of operations in 2008.
Noting that the open season would be conducted under Mexican laws and regulations governing open-access terminals, Sempra LNG said the size, scope and cost for any expansion would depend on the level of interest that develops in the open season, but any expansion, if one is pursued, could be completed by 2010.
The initial $800 million LNG receiving terminal is located about 14 miles north of the coastal city of Ensenada, about 60 miles south of the U.S.-Mexico border.
"The proposed expansion and open-season process represent a response to the significant interest we have received from a number of potential natural gas producers and marketers for more capacity at the Energia Costa Azul receipt terminal," said Darcel Hulse, president of Sempra LNG. "Our project will be the first of its kind along the West Coast of North America, because of the strategic location and interest expressed by potential clients, we expect this open season to proceed very well."
Sempra said that any party interested in obtaining capacity at Energia Costa Azul is encouraged to contact Sue Bradham, commercial development director (619-696-3131), or Jim Sahagian, vice president of commercial development (619-696-2357).
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