The AES Corporation announced the start of operations of the first LNG hub in Panama and Central America, located at the AES Colón plant. AES Colón consists of the 180,000 m3 LNG tank and a 381 MW combined cycle power plant, which reached commercial operations in 2018 and had been previously operating with gas from temporary sources.
The commercial operation of the LNG storage facility will allow for the use of LNG throughout the region and establish Panama as the natural gas hub for the Central American region. The use of LNG helps both reduce CO2 emissions and increase renewable energy penetration. Furthermore, LNG conversion lowers electricity costs and provides greater price stability to support economic growth.
“The inauguration of the AES Colón storage facility is a significant milestone toward transforming the Central American energy sector, and enabling a safer and more sustainable energy future,” said Andrés Gluski, AES President and Chief Executive Officer. “Since AES introduced natural gas in the Dominican Republic 19 years ago, it saved consumers more than half a billion dollars a year and avoided approximately four million tons of CO2 emissions annually.”
AES has reserved 80% of AES Colón’s terminal capacity for use by industrial and commercial companies in Panama and Central America. The additional contracting potential is expected to serve as a further source of growth for the company.
The LNG hub at AES Colón was completed in record time of 39 months and has employed more than 2,000 Panamanians since the start of the project. AES plans to build a similar project in Vietnam in the coming years, which will bring many of these same benefits to Southeast Asia.