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.