Vopak buys into Colombian FSRU

Royal Vopak has bought a 49% stake in Colombia’s LNG import facility, in Cartagena. The company did not disclose how much it paid for the holding, in the statement announcing the move on September 12.

The remaining 51% in Sociedad Portuaria el Cayao (SPEC) is held by privately held Promigas. SPEC consists of a chartered floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU), a jetty and onshore infrastructure, in addition to a 9.2 km pipeline running to the national grid.

The company has long-term contracts with three local gas-fired power plants. SPEC has said the facility can provide gas sufficient to supply 27% of Colombia’s power needs.

“This is another growth step in our LNG portfolio and it fits very well in our ambitions to grow and diversify our service offering in LNG,” said Vopak’s chairman, Eelco Hoekstra.

At the beginning of the year, Vopak also increased its stake in Pakistan’s Engro Elengy Terminal, to 44%. This also involves an FSRU and an onshore pipeline. This is part of the company’s shift into LNG infrastructure and various industrial terminals.

Colombia imported 250,000 tonnes of LNG in 2018, according to the International Group of LNG Importers (GIIGNL). Supplies came from Trinidad & Tobago and the US. While small, this was an increase from the 30,000 tonnes GIIGNL reported Colombia as receiving in 2017.

The Hoegh Grace FSRU arrived at Cartagena in November 2016. Hoegh LNG won the contract in 2014.

In late 2018, Bogota set out plans for a second FSRU to be moored in the country, in the Bay of Buenaventura, on the Pacific coast. The plan was for a supplier to be chosen in mid-2019 and for operations to begin in 2023.

Promigas has been investing in infrastructure this year, noting in July the completion of work on the Jobo-Majaguas gas pipeline, which serves Colombia’s Caribbean coast.

Colombia once had plans for exporting gas, with a company getting so far as ordering a floating LNG (FLNG) facility. The contract for this was terminated, in 2016, and the FLNG unit recently began operations in Argentina, exporting shale gas from the Vaca Muerta.

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