Cela project in final permitting stage, initial phase US$1.1bn

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Wednesday, January 7, 2009

An integrated oil and gas project by Panamanian company Centro Energético de las Américas (Cela) is in the final phase of permitting and contract talks with the government, Cela VP and COO Henry Jiménez told BNamericas.

The three-stage project, whose first phase would cost roughly US$1.1bn, includes refineries, an LNG regasification plant, storage terminals, marine facilities, pipelines and petrochemical plants.

Cela has secured operation licenses for the Atlantic and Pacific terminals from the Panama Canal Authority, Jiménez said.

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Permits from national environmental authority Anam for the terminals also are ready and are waiting to be signed for publication next week, he added.

"In the next 6-8 weeks, we should sign the concession contract and contracts for the maritime concessions."

Project infrastructure on the Atlantic will be near the town of Maria Chiquita in Colón province; infrastructure on the Pacific will be near the former Howard air base. The facilities will be linked via a 92km pipeline.

The company aims to become an energy hub for the distribution of oil and petrochemicals, targeting the US east and west coasts, the Americas and the Far East - in particular China and India.

The entire project envisions refineries with capacity of 2Mb/d, petrochemical plants with combined production of 3Mt/y, 1Bf3/d (28.3Mm3/d) of LNG and 86Mb of storage capacity.