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Panama’s First Natural Gas-Fired Power Plant (670MW System in Colón)

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Construction begins on Panama’s first gas-fired power plant

Panama’s first gas-fired power plant is set to come online by 2018 as construction work began last week.  

The $1.15bn, 381 MW combined-cycle plant is to be built by US-based power firm AES in collaboration with Panama’s Inversiones Bahia. Korean EPC firm Posco E&C will carry out the construction work.

map from Posco.pngThe plant will be located on Telfers Island in the Caribbean province of Colon, around 80 km north of Panama City, and will include a 170,000 m3 liquefied natural gas (LNG) storage and regasification facility, with LNG provided by France's Engie under a 10-year agreement. 

The plant’s power will be sold to Panama's state-owned utility Empresa de Transmisión Eléctrica SA (ETESA) under a 10-year power purchase agreement, and is expected to power around 15 million households.  

Panamanian president Juan Carlos Varela officially opened the beginning of construction last week, saying the plant would reduce the nation’s dependence on oil and boost its generation capacity by 30 per cent. 

On winning the tender for the plant in September 2015, Andrés Gluski, president and CEO of AES, said: “Together with our local partner, Inversiones Bahia, we will construct a low emission combined cycle power plant, which will be fueled by LNG via the new regasification terminal on Panama’s Atlantic coast.

“Building a state of the art LNG regasification terminal near the entrance of the enlarged Panama Canal will enable Panama to become an energy hub for Central America and the Caribbean,” he added.

Panama’s 2015-2020 National Energy Plan includes a focus on natural gas for the first time. Hydropower is the nation’s largest source of energy, contributing 53 per cent of the total generation mix, with oil-fired plants contributing 40 per cent.  

Under the Plan, Panama aims to generate at least 70 per cent of its power from renewable sources – largely hydropower, solar and wind – by 2020, and to reduce energy sector emissions. Environmental considerations were key for the new plant, AES said.



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  • Moderator_02 changed the title to Construction Begins on Panama’s First Natural Gas-Fired Power Plant (in Colon)
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Panama Breaks Ground on its LNG-to-Power Plant Project

Posted on May 27, 2016 with tags AES Colon, AES Corp, Gas Natural Atlantico, Panama.


The government of Panama said the construction began on the country’s first LNG-to-power project at the entrance of the Panama Canal in the Colon Province providing 350 MW of new capacity.

Built by AES Corporation’s Gas Natural Atlantico the project will include the construction of a 350 MW combined-cycle natural gas-fired plant with a 10-year power purchase agreement, and a 180,000 cbm LNG storage tank and regasification facility, to supply gas to the plant.

Panama’s president Juan Carlos Varela said that besides boosting the country’s energy diversification, the project opens the door for Panama to become an LNG distribution hub in the region.

Work on the project is expected to be completed in 2018 with a total cost ranging at around US$1.1 billion, the government informed.

In March this year, Engie signed a deal with Gas Natural Atlántico to provide up to 400,000 tons of LNG per year from 2018 on a 10-year period to power the project.



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Natural Gas Plant Delays Start of Operations

The plant that AES Panama is building in Colón will start operating in August 2018 and not in May, as originally planned.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

The company requested an extension from the National Public Services Authority (ASEP) to modify the commercial operation deadline, "... due to the complications that occurred in the construction of the transmission line which, according to the original design, incurred into lands belonging to the Waked Group."

Prensa.com reports that "... According to the initial layout, in the North Coast transmission line seven properties belonging to the Waked Group were affected by the development of transmission line. This required Gas Natural Atlántico to set up a special procedure with the OFAC of the US Department of the Treasury to allow for negotiation, construction and registration of the corresponding easement."

The plant, whose construction was started in May last year, will have three generators, three gas turbines and one steam turbine, reaching a total installed capacity of 381 MW.



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Moderator comment: Am I correct in thinking this news article is saying the generation plant being built in Colón is now shut down? What is the real story here?



Backwards Step for 670 MW Gas Plant

The National Public Services Authority has canceled the license it had granted to the Panama NG Power to build and operate a thermoelectric generation plant in Colón, Panama.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Ending a process that lasted more than seven years, the National Public Services Authority has permanently canceled the license that had granted to Panama NG Power S.A. to build a thermoelectric plant with an installed capacity of 670 MW.

Read the history of this process here, starting from 2011 when a provisional license was granted to Panama NG Power S.A., for the first time, through the call for tenders to generate energy based on natural gas in 2013 and the difficulties the company experienced in complying with the deadlines required by the ASEP during the process.

From the resolution given by the ASEP on December 6, 2017:


FIRST: DECLARE that the company PANAMA NG POWER, S.A., did not comply with the provisions of Resolution Three of Resolution AN No.10381-Elec of August 31, 2016, by which Resolution Two of Resolution AN No.7333 was modified -Elec of May 6, 2014, modified by Resolution AN No. 7369-Elec of May 21, 2014, regarding the presentation of the Financial Closing for the construction and operation of the thermal generation with natural gas project, to generate electricity, called TELFERS, on October 13, 2017.

See full resolution by the ASEP. (In Spanish)



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  • Moderator_02 changed the title to Construction Begins on Panama’s First Natural Gas-Fired Power Plant (in Colón)
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Moderator comment: this posting is out in chronological order, but posted so as to provide some background information about the contractor involved in this mega-project. Note this extract from the first posting in this topic:


The $1.15bn, 381 MW combined-cycle plant is to be built by US-based power firm AES in collaboration with Panama’s Inversiones Bahia. Korean EPC firm Posco E&C will carry out the construction work.




POSCO E&C Awarded US$ 650 Million Combined Cycle Power Plant and LNG Terminal Project in Panama

News provided by

19 Feb, 2016, 11:05 GMT

SEOUL, South Korea, Feb. 19, 2016 /PRNewswire/ --

  • The Power Plant (380MW) and LNG Terminal importation terminal (180,000m3) will be the first investment in the LNG industry in Panama
  • POSCO E&C has achieved US$5.6 billion for Latin American Projects in 10 years
  • Raised its competitiveness in Latin American Power Plant Market

POSCO E&C recently executed a US$ 650 million EPC turn-key contract with Gas Natural Atlantico S. de R.L and Costa Norte LNG Terminal S. R.L, (subsidiary of AES* Panama) for Colon combined cycle power plant and LNG terminal project.

POSCO E&C will construct the largest combined cycle power plant in Panama with generating capacity of 380MW and LNG terminal with a capacity of 180,000m3, located in Colon Province, 60km from Panama City.

Power produced from the Colon combined cycle power plant can be supplied to around 15 million households simultaneously, which will ensure a stable supply to the industrial complex near the Panama Canal and Colon area.

POSCO E&C has been highly praised for the proven quality of power plant construction technology in Latin America over the past decade and was awarded the contract after a fierce competition against prominent engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) companies.

Mr. Kun Soo Oh, Senior Executive Vice President of POSCO E&C, said; "POSCO E&C was consecutively awarded two projects since December 2015 [by AES], in the Philippines and Chile. These awards have helped POSCO E&C to increase its competitiveness in overseas power plant markets."

In 2006, POSCO E&C became the first Korean construction company to construct a power plant in Latin America with the AES Ventanas coal-fired power plant in Chile and the subsequent Campiche and Angamos projects in 2007. Moreover, the Kallpa and Chilca Uno combined cycle power plant in Peru were also successfully executed in 2009, achieving total value for POSCO E&C of US$ 5.6billion in Latin America over 10 years.

Homepage: http://www.poscoenc.com/

*The AES Corporation: The US power company generating and distributing electrical power of around 36 GW in 17 countries.





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New Opportunity for $900 million Gas Plant

One month after its license was canceled, a judicial ruling has reactivated the project to construct and operate a 670 MW natural gas plant, under the responsibility of NG Power.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

With the ruling from the Supreme Court of Justice, the cancellation of the license to build the 670 MW thermoelectric plant, announced in December 2017 by the National Public Services Authority, is now null and void.

"... With this ruling, other decisions taken by the National Authority of Public Services (ASEP), which had denied the possibility of extending a period of 150 to 270 days for the company to present the economic backing for the work, are also left without effect."

From this moment, the authorities at Panamá NG Power "... have 150 days to demonstrate that they have the strength to continue with the project. This period will begin to take effect from the moment the judgment is signed and the measure is notified to the ASEP, which up until yesterday claimed to be unaware of the ruling and, therefore, would not be making any statements regarding this matter."

José Dapelo, President of Panama NG Power indicated that "... Our position is simple, all projects (for gas generation in Colon) must be realised. There should be fair competition and rules should be respected for everyone. Our project is much more efficient than the competition given the size and quality of the turbines'."



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On 12/16/2017 at 10:31 AM, Moderator_02 said:

The LNG power generation plant on Isla Telfers near Colon is reporting a 90% advance in construction, and is almost ready to begin operations.



50% owner and operator AES, a U.S. firm traded on the NYSE and well known in Panama, will also use the location as an LNG distribution terminal.


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  • Moderator_02 changed the title to Panama’s First Natural Gas-Fired Power Plant (in Colón)
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Uncertain Future for $900 million Project

Panamanian authorities have declared the deadline passed for Panama NG Power to present evidence of economic backing for the construction of the 670 MW natural gas plant.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Last December a judicial ruling was issued by means of which Panama NG Power was granted 150 days to demonstrate that it has the economic capacity to develop the project. According to the company's interpretation, this time period began on March 8, 2018.  

See "Central America: $1.6 billion in Energy Projects"

However, representatives of Panama NG Power reported that at the beginning of this week the National Authority of Public Services (Asep), declared that the deadline had passed for the presentation of the financial closure of the construction of the generation plant.

Regarding the decision taken by the Asep, José Dapelo, president of Panama NG Power, told Prensa.com that " ...The decision, adopted through a resolution, was notified on Monday, June 11, to the company." 

See also: "Energy projects in Panama" 

In relation to the deadlines for submitting economic support, the article states that " ... the company alleges that, through the ruling of December 20, 2017, the plenary of the Supreme Court of Justice granted an action for protection of constitutional guarantees and ordered the administrator of the ASEP, Roberto Meana, to grant Panama NG Power SA a period of 150 days to present the financial closing as of the execution of this resolution, which, according to the company's interpretation, started on March 8, 2018."

See history of the project.



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  • Moderator_02 changed the title to Panama’s First Natural Gas-Fired Power Plant (670MW System in Colón)
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Gas plant in Panama prepares to receive first supply boat

Fri, 06/15/2018 - 10:14

Diseño sin título (15)_0.jpg

The company AES Colón, a subsidiary of the US AES, informed on Thursday that it is preparing to receive the first liquefied natural gas (LNG) ship that will supply its power generation plant based on this resource.

AES Colón, which operates in the Caribbean province of the same name, owns the first LNG-based power generation plant in Central America whose inauguration is expected in Panama next August, with an installed capacity of 381 megawatts.

The gas vessel "Provalys" is French, measures almost 300 meters long with a capacity of 153 cubic meters and will be in the terminal of AES Colón in about a month and a half.

This ship was hired to execute the commissioning tests of the generation plant (preparation for the start of commercial operation) and belongs to Engie, company engaged in supplying natural gas for the project that has an investment of 1,150 million dollars.

The ship will be in the dock of AES Colón during a maximum of 45 days and later it will be replaced by the ship Gaselys, which has the same characteristics as Provalys.

The project will maintain the use of a floating storage unit (gas ship) for a period of about one year, with an approximate stay of each vessel of a month and a half, period after which it will be replaced by another vessel.

Miguel Bolinaga, president of AES in Panama, stressed that "with the arrival of this first LNG boat" a milestone of great importance for the AES Colón project is fulfilled".

The project, according to Bolinga, "is advancing at a good pace towards the start of operations of the first-generation plant based on natural gas from Panama and Central America, which will be in the coming months".

After the arrival of the boat, several preparation activities will be carried out regarding the management of security on the site, such as the performance of emergency drills, the familiarization of the crew and the coupling tests with the discharge lines.

After this period, gas line tests will be given to the generation plant, in a process that should last between five and seven days approximately.

The company explained that the arrival maneuver of the ship to the AES Colón dock implies the collaboration of some 150 people in total: for the mooring around 15 people; and between 15 and 20 people in different tasks of coordination and control throughout the terminal.

AES Colón also has a team of about 60 people distributed in three operating shifts that will participate in these tests along with another 70 commissioning EPC (Posco Engineering and Construction), which will coordinate these tests.

The Provalys departed a few weeks ago from the Sabine Pass terminal in Cameron, Louisiana, United States and will remain at the AES Colón terminal for the next month and a half, according to the information.

In order to receive this ship, previous activities have been carried out as a review of evacuation and emergency preparedness procedures in coordination with the competent authorities, with two drills already carried out, and restructured and implemented international security measures for port facilities.



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Colon gets region’s first natural gas plant

Post Views: 119
THE FIRST he first natural gas-based power generation plant in Central America, developed by AES Colón was inaugurated on Friday, August  17, 28  months after the project began.

It consists of two stages, the plant and a natural gas storage plant which is 87% complete and expected to come into operation in 2019.

President Juan Carlos Varela said that the plant will help the Panamanian economy, and will reduce the use of petroleum derivatives in the production of electricity for the country and reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

The president at the opening ceremony of the new AES plant announced a reform of the law of Columbus Free port. “Columbus is changing and we will continue to support Columbus.”

He stressed that the  government is developing a plan to expand the energy matrix, which includes use of natural gas in the generation of electricity.

The power plant will result in the reduction of the greenhouse effect, with zero emission of sulfur oxides of  and solid particles. Carbon dioxide emissions will be reduced by 60% and nitrogen oxidesby more than 80% of



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Natural Gas Plant Starts Operations

The electric power generation plant based on liquefied natural gas has started operating in Colón, Panama, with an installed capacity of 381 MW.

Monday, August 20, 2018

The plant, whose construction began in May 2016, has three generators, three gas turbines and one steam turbine, giving it a total installed capacity of 381 MW.

"... The AES Colón project consists of two stages. The first is the LNG plant and the second comprises a storage tank that is currently 87% complete and is expected to come into operation next year in 2019, explained Miguel Bolinaga, president of AES in Panama, a mixed capital company in which the Panamanian State has a 50.5% share."

See: "Implications of a $1 billion investment"

Laestrella.com.pa reports that "...The port will have capacity to serve vessels from 3,000 cubic meters to 160,000 cubic meters (loading and unloading), and will have a truck loading station for distribution of LNG at the national and regional level and a tank with storage capacity of 180,000 cubic meters. The gas is imported from the United States, the executive explained."



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Exclusive: Shell wins LNG deal to supply Chinese firm's power plant in Panama

HOUSTON (Reuters) - Royal Dutch Shell Plc has won a long-term contract to provide liquefied natural gas to a Chinese company’s 441 megawatt power plant under construction in Colon, Panama, advisors on the deal said.


Fuel prices are displayed on a sign at a Shell petrol station in Nairobi, Kenya, September 20, 2018. REUTERS/Baz Ratner

The $900 million power project, being built by Sinolam LNG affiliate Sinolam Smarter Energy LNG Power Co, expects to begin taking deliveries of the super-cooled natural gas in 2020, the advisors told Reuters late Wednesday.

The deal with a Shell trading unit comes as a trade dispute between the United States and China has put global LNG exports in the spotlight. This week, China imposed tariffs on $60 billion of U.S. goods, including a 10 percent tax on LNG imports effective Monday, in response to the U.S. slapping tariffs on some $200 billion of Chinese goods.

Terms of the 15-year deal, which will meet all the fuel needs of the LNG-fueled plant, were not disclosed. The facility will require roughly 400,000 tonnes per year of LNG.

Sinolam LNG, a Panamanian subsidiary of private Chinese investment firm Shanghai Gorgeous, also is building an LNG receiving facility in Colon that will utilize a floating storage unit berth.

Energy consultants Featherwood Capital acted as commercial advisers for Sinolam, and Hogan Lovells were legal advisers.

Shell declined to comment on the deal.

In the 12 months to June, China was the second largest buyer of U.S. LNG, while Shell was the largest U.S. LNG seller, according to research published by energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie on Wednesday.

After years of slumping prices, in which oil and gas companies slashed costs and project investments, the energy industry is coming out of crisis.

At the Gastech trade show this week in Barcelona, delegates said the outlook for the natural gas business was better than at any point since 2014. Global LNG trading is expected to double in coming years, from 300 million tonnes this year.

This upturn is largely due to soaring demand for natural gas in China, where there is a government push to move millions of households and factories from using coal to employing cleaner-burning gas, and because countries from Myanmar to the Philippines may soon start importing LNG.

Reporting by Liz Hampton; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Marguerita Choy


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Barriers to 670 MW Gas Plant

According to the Panama Canal Authority, NG Power only has permission to build a 130 MW plant, so it will have to go through a new procedure if it expects to develop the 670 MW plant, as planned from the beginning.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

The permit requested by Panama NG Power and approved by the Canal Board in 2011, is for two generators of up to 45 MW each and a third steam generator of up to 40 MW, which together total 130 MW.

However, the energy project that is subject to Law 19 of June 11, 1997 and Law 21 of July 2, 1997, and that because it is developed on the banks of the Panama Canal must be compatible with the aquatic operation approved by the Board of Directors of the Panama Canal Authority, contemplated from the beginning the construction of a 670 MW plant.

You may be interested in "Energy: Millionaire Investments in Central America

There are options to take the project forward. Prensa.com reviews that "... The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) points out that if NG Power is interested in developing a 670 megawatt plant, it must apply to the Reverted Goods Administrative Unit (UABR), so that if such entity considers it convenient, it may request the ACP's approval of the modification of the March 2011 resolutions, which approved the compatibility permit and the authorization for the use of water and riverbanks for the Project."

The article adds that "... Another option for NG Power, says the ACP, is to ask UABR to submit an express waiver of the compatibility permit and water use authorization, and request a new permit and authorization for the project."

The project has faced several difficulties to be developed, including the cancellation of the license by the National Public Services Authority. Read here the history of this process.



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Construction: What's Next in Central America

An electric transmission line in Panama, a mixed-use building in Guatemala and the development of a residential project in Costa Rica are part of the investments planned for the coming months in the region.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

The interactive system "Construction in Central America", compiled by the Trade Intelligence Unit at CentralAmericaData, includes an up to date list of public and private construction projects that are expected to be built in the coming months.

Detail of some of the Environmental Impact Studies presented recently:

Sinolam Smarter Energy presented in Panama the EIA to build a 115 Kv electric transmission line that will connect the Gas to Power project with the National Interconnection System. The project, which will be in the towns of Cativa and Puerto Pilon, in the province of Colon, will require about $17 million in investment.

In Guatemala, Inversiones VH, S.A. presented the study to build a 16 level building in Zone 15 of the country's capital, for commercial, corporate and residential use. According to the EIA called "VHISTA" it is expected to invest about $11.5 million.

Urbanizadora Siglo Veinte, S.A. plans to build in the district of San Juan, province of Cartago, a condominium composed of 412 subsidiary farms. The project called "Condominio Residencial de FFPPI Terracafe" will require an investment of close to $14.1 million.



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LNG Distribution Center Launched

The company AES Panama launched its liquefied natural gas storage system in the province of Colon, from where it plans to supply the entire Central American region.

Monday, October 21, 2019

This liquefied natural gas (LNG) distribution system will supply the 381 MW thermal plant located on site, also owned by AES, which began operating in August 2018.

Prensa.com reports that "... With the completion of the construction of the natural gas storage tank, AES will not only be able to supply this fuelto the power generation plant but from now on will be able to supply it to companies and countries in the region."

You may be interested in "$1.2 Billion in Energy Investments"

Juan Ignacio Rubiolo, president and group manager of AES Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, explained that "... In Panama it will begin to distribute natural gas to the industry in tanker trucks from next year."

Miguel Bolinaga, manager of AES in Panama, specified in his twitter account that "... An investment of more than $1.150 million that will give extraordinary benefits to Panama and the region, stabilizing energyprices and helping the environment."



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AES acquires full stake in 381-MW Panama LNG-fired power plant

By Rod Walton - 

Global power generation utility owner AES is acquiring the remaining half of its liquefied natural gas power plant operation in Panama.

The Virginia-based AES acquired 49.9 percent of AES Colón from Panamanian partner Inversiones Bahia Ltd. This gives the utility owner full control of the 381-MW LNG-fired plant and adjacent 180,000-cubic-meter storage and regasification facility.

“This transaction reaffirms AES’ commitment to Panama and represents a new milestone in the execution of our regional LNG strategy to deliver cleaner, reliable and efficient energy to our clients.  This acquisition will contribute to maximizing the value of our regional LNG business through the development of important synergies and flexibility across our portfolio,” said Juan Ignacio Rubiolo, President for AES’ Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean Strategic Business Unit.

AES and its partners constructed the terminal and power project in 2018. One year earlier, AES and French energy company Engie agreed on a joint venture to market and sell gas imported into the Colón LNG facility, according to reports.

Operations of the Colón combined cycle gas turbine power station started that year.

AES also has partnered with other firms on LNG projects, including the Energia Natural Dominicana joint venture. EPC firm McDermott International also was contracted to lead construction on the AES LNG import terminal in Duarte, Dominican Republic.



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