World Bank Finances New Colombian LNG Project

Español Due to growing demand for liquefied natural gas (LNG), the World Bank’s private lending arm, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), will help develop the world’s “first floating liquefaction plant” in Colombia. The plant is expected to begin exporting liquefied natural gas by the middle of next year.

Colombia's natural gas distribution system
Colombia’s natural gas distribution system. (ANIF)

Most of the US$300 million project will be funded through the IFC, with an initial investment of US$240 million to begin construction of the LNG project. According to Lance Crist, the global head of oil and gas for the IFC, an additional $60 million is expected to come from other lenders “in transactions expected to close in the next several weeks.”

“The beauty of this is that it will basically enable Colombia to take advantage of some of its stranded gas and supply it to regional markets,” said Crist. “In the near term, they will be selling gas to the international market, but now that this kind of supply is available, you will start to see regasification units being built in the Caribbean.”

The Colombian plant project is a joint-enterprise between the Pacific Rubiales Energy Corporation, the country’s largest independent oil and gas exploration and production company, and Belgium’s Exmar NV, a carrier of LNG and liquefied petrol gas located in Antwerp.

According to Crist, the plant, which is expected to produce “500,000 metric tons of LNG a year,” is under construction in China, and will be taken to Colombia to begin operations next year.

“The IFC will probably supply at least $500 million in regional project funding over the next year, and the rest will come from other banks and partners,” said Crist.

According to a forecast by the US financial research company Sanford C. Bernstein, Latin America is set to consume 28.9 million tons of fuel by 2025, more than double the amount projected for 2014.

Source: Bloomberg.

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