Gas Atacama awards first Chilean FRSU to Golar LNG

By OGJ editors

Chilean energy company Gas Atacama has awarded a contract to Golar LNG Ltd. for Gas Atacama Mejillones seaport's floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU).

The initial term of the contract, in Gas Atacama's option, is for 15-20 years and is to generate an average $48 million/year for the 15-year charter or $47 million/year for the 20-year charter, according to the Golar announcement. Gas Atacama has three 5-year contract extension options, representing a potential 15 years more of commitments.

The FSRU will be moored 1.6 km offshore in 50 m of water in the Bay of Mejillones. The newbuild FSRU will be able to store 170,000 cu m of LNG and deliver about 180 MMcfd of vaporized natural gas. It will be delivered in fourth-quarter 2015.

The regasified LNG will be delivered via Gas Atacama's subsea pipeline and is primarily to supply the onshore 780-Mw Central Termica Atacama thermal power plant.

Regasified LNG could additionally be used to the meet the demands of some of Gas Atacama’s mining customers, said the announcement, as well as those of other power generators. Parties have agreed to the possibility for further expansion of the FSRU regasification capacity of up 360 MMcfd.

Final detailed contracts were executed in a signing ceremony by Gas Atacama and Golar on July 5 in Santiago, but full commitment by the parties to the transaction is subject to certain contractual conditions related to Gas Atacama’s achieving a threshold of new power sales agreements before Dec. 31.

Gas Atacama owns a natural gas pipeline and power station. Current shareholders include Endesa (Chile, 50%), the largest electrical energy generating company in Latin America, subsidiary of the Spanish Endesa Group, and controlled by ENEL of Italy; and the Southern Cross Group (50%), a private investment group with interests in Chile and other Latin American countries.

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