Argentina accelerates Vaca Muerta megaproject gas compression plans, launches tender

Bnamericas Published: Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Argentine state energy company Energía Argentina has put out to tender another contract associated with the first phase of the Vaca Muerta gas pipeline megaproject.

Officials are seeking gas compressors for the planned Tratayén and Salliqueló compression stations, according to a notice in the official gazette.

The objective is bringing forward to 2023 a planned increase of 10Mm3/d (million cubic meters per day) in transport capacity, via compression, originally penciled in for early 2024. 

Without compression, the 583km first phase – between Neuquén and Buenos Aires provinces – would have 10Mm3/d transport capacity.

Officials aim to not only bring the first phase online by around this time next year but also commission the compression stations, resulting in a total of 20Mm3/d of additional Neuquén basin dispatch capacity, which currently stands at around 75Mm3/d.

In the second phase of the megaproject, capacity would grow a further 20Mm3/d, boosting Neuquén basin gas dispatch capacity to 115Mm3/d.

Rapid growth in basin gas output is straining transport capacity and limiting further output expansion. The government wants to bring the first phase online within a year, to substitute expensive winter gas imports with cheaper domestic production and help support growth in exports to neighboring countries, chiefly Chile.  

Bidding rules for the compressor contract are available from Monday and offers are due by September 2.

Earlier this month, the government signed contracts with Techint-Sacde, BTU and Esuco for first-phase construction work.

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