Peru to award Camisea transport contract Oct. 20

Peru�s Camisea committee will hold the tender to award the transport and distribution concessions for the Camisea natural gas project Oct. 20, according to Energy and Mines Minister Jorge Chamot. The tender has already been postponed twice.


LIMA�Peru�s Camisea committee will hold the tender to award the transport and distribution concessions for the Camisea natural gas project Oct. 20, according to Energy and Mines Minister Jorge Chamot. The tender has already been postponed twice.

Chamot said that only one consortium, led by Techint SA of Argentina, had officially confirmed its participation in the tender. This is allowed by the bid rules, as the government has already fixed the price caps, and the consortium that offers the lowest cost for the 33-year construction and operation of the installations wins the concession, Chamot said.

The price of gas to be used for electricity generation has been set at $0.90/MMbtu and $1.20/MMbtu for other uses.

Techint�s partners include Pluspetrol Resources Corp., also of Argentina; Hunt Oil Co. of the US; and SK Corp. of South Korea. The companies also won the tender in February to exploit the Camisea fields.

Chamot said that the bid documents give the winner of the fields the right to participate in up to 49% of the transport and distribution contracts. Peru�s Gra�a y Montero SA engineering group will participate in the project, and other partners are being sought.

Chamot said that Gas Natural Group of Spain is among the companies with which Techint is holding talks. Techint is in discussion with financial entities regarding funding for the $1 billion project, according to Alberto Moons, Pluspetrol�s vice-president for the development of international business.

TotalfinaElf SA, which was the runner-up in the bid for the exploitation of the Camisea fields, reportedly has told Pluspetrol it is interested in joining the consortium, provided it can have a percentage in the exploitation of the fields�an offer Pluspetrol said it had rejected.

Political upheaval
Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori made the stunning announcement Sept. 16 that he was calling a new election as soon as possible and that he would not run for office again. This development has prompted skepticism over Peru's ability to complete the Camisea tender as planned.

Fujimori, who was reelected recently, has ratified his cabinet ministers in their posts and says all projects will continue. The president offered the new elections after this year's presidential election was mired in accusations of irregularities.

Meanwhile, a scandal has erupted alleging corrupt practices by the head of Peru's secret service. Fujimori said he would disband Peru's intelligence service but declined to say when this would happen.

Analysts say that potential investors in Camisea are likely to be discouraged by the political uncertainty in Peru, at least until they see what to expect from a new leadership in the medium term. Government lawyers said the mechanics of regulating new elections such a short time after President Fujimori was inaugurated for a third term on July 28 are complex and that the process could take until March or May 2001.

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