The AES Corporation opened AES Colón, a 381 MW combined cycle power plant and the first LNG terminal in Central America. The plant and regasification terminal are expected to begin commercial operations on September 1, 2018 and the LNG tank, which will be the largest in the Caribbean, is expected to begin operations on schedule in the second half of 2019. The combined facility, which represents a $1.15 billion investment, satisfies a growing need for natural gas in Central America and the Caribbean and will provide an alternative to oil-fired power generation. AES Colón will expand the use of LNG exports from the United States, to drive economic development and shape a cleaner, more cost-effective energy future in Central America and the Caribbean.
“The inauguration of AES Colón is a significant step toward diversifying the energy mix in Central America and the Caribbean, introducing cleaner alternatives in Panama and beyond,” said Andrés Gluski, AES President and Chief Executive Officer. “We expect that the entry of low-cost, U.S. LNG will transform the Central American energy sector, much as it has in the Dominican Republic. This facility is the latest example of how innovation is driving a cleaner energy future on a global scale.”
AES Colón will provide a cleaner alternative to petroleum-based fuels in Central America and the Caribbean. Initially, AES Colón will use 20 Trillion Thermal British thermal units (TBtu) annually, with U.S. gas exports totaling roughly $140 million. The LNG terminal has a capacity of 80 TBtus, creating the total potential for more than half a billion dollars per year in U.S. gas exports. The 60 TBtus of excess capacity available through AES Colón will allow for distribution across Central American countries for electricity generation, commercial and industrial customers, transportation and bunkering.
AES brings more than 15 years of experience in LNG terminal operation to Colón, with a similar generation facility and LNG terminal in the Dominican Republic that has contributed significantly to the sustainability of the energy sector. The generation facility and LNG terminal have helped avoid approximately 4 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions that would have otherwise been emitted by using imported petroleum products to generate electricity while saving the country hundreds of millions of dollars per year.
AES Colón was completed in 27 months, and during construction, the project created more than 2,500 jobs. Once in operations, the facility will create about 200 jobs.
Source: AES Corporation