Techint starts construction of Mexican pipeline

The country’s energy regulator CRE gave its approval for the 114-km, 36-in diameter natural gas pipeline in September, and Techint has now begun construction.

The pipeline is scheduled to start operations in September, 2003. Pipeline construction accounts for $112 million of the Techint contract, with the remaining $ 33.5 million for the associated compression system. The total cost of the project is $ 238 million: the remaining $ 92.5 million will be spent on associated expenses such as land purchase and interest payments during the construction period.

Gasoductos de Tamaulipas is wholly owned by Gasoductos de Chihuahua, which is a 50/50 joint venture of US energy company El Paso and the Pemex Gas y Petroquimica Basica (PGPB) subsidiary of Mexico’s state oil company Pemex. GDT has signed an operations and maintenance contract for the pipeline with PGPB. The pipeline will transport 1Bcuft/d of gas from the El Caracol compression station near Reynosa in Tamaulipas state due south to the Los Indios compression station near San Fernando. Both stations are connected to the SNG national pipeline grid. The pipeline will have reversible flow, initially importing US gas to Mexico and later taking gas from the Burgos basin to a cryogenic plant planned for a site adjacent to the El Caracol station. Pemex owns all the pipeline capacity and has already contracted 360Mcufy/d capacity to a number of clients.

The CRE has obliged GDT to hold an “√∑open season’ for the remaining 640Mcuft/d capacity, and companies wanting to contract capacity should show their interest between 4 November this year and 3 November, 2003.

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