LNG terminal row
An appeals court in Chile suspended on Thursday an order by a mayor to close a BG Group LNG import terminal as its commissioning cargo arrived.
The Valparaiso Appeals Court ruled unanimously to push aside Quintero Mayor Jose Varas' Friday decree, which ordered GNL Quintero to shut down because it lacked the necessary occupancy permits, according to media reports.
BG Group's 145,000-cbm Methane Jane Elizabeth (built 2006) has arrived at the terminal with a cargo from Trinidad and Tobago.
The BG Group-controlled, $1.6bn regasification is near completion in central Chile.
GNL Quintero and politicians in favour of the facility argue that permits demanded by the mayor are not required until the terminal is operational. The commissioning cargo, they claim, does not mean the plant is operating.
But Vargas argues that unloading the gas constitutes the beginning of operations
The appeals court decision puts Varas' order on hold until a lower court rules on GLN Quintero's case in a lower court.
The regasification plant, located 110 kilometres northwest of Santiago, is part of a bid by Chile to diversify its gas supplies, which currently come from Argentina by pipeline.
Initial regasification capacity will be 10 million cbm per day. Storage-tank construction will continue through 2010.
BG has a 40% stake in the project and is contracted to supply the terminal. Enap, Endesa and Metrogas each hold a 20% stake.