Consortium evaluating Cruz del Sur pipeline expansion

Friday, July 1, 2011

A consortium including German firm Wintershall and the UK's BG Group (LSE: BG) is considering expanding capacity at the Cruz del Sur gas pipeline linking Buenos Aires with Uruguay, an industry source confirmed to BNamericas.

"The new regasification facility near Montevideo presents the opportunity to revert the gas flow of the Gasoducto Cruz del Sur [and] Wintershall and its partners are working to evaluate the expansion of the pipeline," Gustavo Albrecht, managing director at Wintershall Energía, told BNamericas.

Albrecht added that a new 130km pipeline would also be required to connect the new facility with existing transport infrastructure.

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Argentina currently exports natural gas to Uruguay through the 200km pipeline. Flows will be reversed from 2013 when the new LNG facility comes online.

Wintershall has a 10% holding in the pipeline, while BG Group is the majority shareholder with a 40% stake. Uruguay's state oil company Ancap and Argentine firm Pan American Energy also have interests.

The GNL del Plata terminal is being jointly developed by the governments of Argentina and Uruguay. First phase production would be 10Mm3/d with maximum capacity set at 15Mm3/d. The governments have said they expect the plant online in 2013.