Argentina increasing gas supplies to Chile
Chile to export surplus solar power
Argentina will significantly increase supplies of natural gas to its neighbor Chile, which will in turn export surplus solar power, following talks between the two countries’ government
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Announced by Argentinian President Alberto Fernandez and Chilean President Gabriel Boric at the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles, the deal will see Argentina supply Chile with 300,000 cu m/d of firm natural gas until Sept. 30, 2023.
The gas will be shipped on the Del Pacific pipeline, which links Neuquén, home to Argentina’s giant Vaca Muerta gas field, with Chile’s southern Biobio region
The move will benefit more than 30,000 families in Concepcion and Los Angeles with a reduction of around 15% in their gas bills. The region currently receives natural gas by tanker from the country’s Quintero regasification terminal, 500 km away.
“This is a win-win for both countries, which is how foreign relations should be,” said Boric following the announcement.
Argentina could increase this volume through a tender with private companies that allow Chile to reduce imports of costly LNG.
“Now what we are proposing is that with the participation of private companies, we can guarantee a firm contract, meaning that it cannot be interrupted, for 4 million cu m/d,” Fernandez said.
Argentina began pumping gas across the Andes to Chile in the 1990s with volumes expected to reach 20 million cu m/d. However, it was forced to cut supplies to cover domestic energy shortages after the government froze energy tariffs. To compensate Chile built two regasification terminals to supply the north and center of the country.
“This is something we must do because in the past we had to renege on a contract with Chile very suddenly harming Chile’s economy and the lives of its people,” Fernandez said.
During the first five months of this year, Chile imported 822,139 mt of gas from Argentina, up from 247,748 mt in the whole of 2021. LNG imports reached 1.1 million mt, mostly from the US, up from 634,369 mt in the year-ago period.
In addition, the agreement will receive the re-energizing of a 345-kV transmission line linking northern Chile and northwest Argentina which will allow Chile to export excess solar power to its neighbor.
Thanks to the arid Atacama Desert, Chile has some of the world’s highest levels of solar radiation and has so far installed 5GW of solar capacity largely the north of the country.
“Chile is today advancing in energy integration with the region, which will help to guarantee supplies,” said Energy Minister Claudio Huepe.
The presidents also discussed the authorization granted to Argentinean gas producers to export LNG through Chile and agreed to …….