As Marathon Oil announced plans for locking up Indonesian supplies for its proposed North Baja liquefied natural gas (LNG) receiving terminal in Mexico last week, Sempra Energy was still waiting for word from Mexican federal government energy officials on its own proposal for a LNG terminal a few miles south of the proposed Marathon site.

A Sempra corporate spokesperson said late last Friday that the company still had no word from Mexican authorities. In response to a question, the spokesperson indicated that the possibility of Sempra joining a coalition effort to build a Baja receiving terminal “was a good idea,” and one the company is looking at. At this time, Sempra has nothing more it can say about the concept or timing for some word from Mexican authorities.

“Maybe in another month we may have more to say,” the spokesperson said.

In contrast, Marathon and its joint development partners received Mexican federal approval for its planned Tijuana Regional Energy Center, calling for the import of 3 to 6 million tonnes/year of LNG over 20 years, along with developing a larger integrated complex that will include a 1,200 MW generation plant, 20-million-gallon/day seawater desalination plant and wastewater treatment facilities, along with the 750 MMcf/d LNG gasification plant. Marathon said it will start construction in early 2004.

Sempra’s proposal calls for a LNG receiving terminal to process the equivalent of 1 Bcf/d of gas at its proposed site at Costa Azul, about 14 miles north of Ensenada on the Baja Pacific Coast. Sempra, which has more recently also acquired the development rights for a 1.5 Bcf/d LNG terminal at Cameron, LA, originally had proposed its Baja project as a joint venture with affiliates of CMS Energy, which dropped out following its financial struggles over the past 18 months.

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