TransCanada wins Mexico gas pipeline contract

Christopher E. Smith
OGJ Pipeline Editor

HOUSTON, May 7 -- TransCanada will build, own, and operate the 310-km Guadalajara Pipeline, extending from an LNG regasification plant being built near Manzanillo on Mexico's Pacific Coast to Guadalajara. The 30-in. OD pipeline will have capacity to ship 500 MMcfd of natural gas, with a targeted in-service date of 2011.

Mexico's state-owned electric power utility Comision Federal de Electricidad (CFE) has a 25-year contract for all gas shipped through the line, which will be used to serve power generation load in both Manzanillo and Guadalajara as well as connecting to an existing Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) line near Guadalajara. Peruvian LNG will supply most of the gas for the pipeline.

The pipeline's 2011 in-service target coincides with the planned 2011 startup of the Manzanillo LNG terminal. Mexico already has two LNG regasification plants in operation—at Altamira on the Gulf of Mexico and Ensenada on the Pacific Coast—part of Ministry of Energy plans to increase LNG imports to 1.99 bcfd by 2017 from January 2009 levels of 503 MMcfd (OGJ Online, Jan. 7, 2009).

TransCanada owns and operates the 130-km Tamazunchale Pipeline in central Mexico and in the 1990s built the 700-km Mayakan Pipeline and the 214-km El Bajio pipelines. It has since sold these pipelines.

The Guadalajara Pipeline will cost an estimated $320 million.

Contact Christopher E. Smith at chriss@ogjonline.com.

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