Argentina will invest US$1.8 billion to build a pipeline to import Bolivian gas to supply its northeastern provinces, authorities said on Friday.
The GNEA project will connect to the existing Juana Azurduy pipeline, which transports gas from Bolivian fields to the Argentine province of Salta. It will transport gas to the rural provinces of Salta, Formosa, Chaco, Misiones, Corrientes, Entre Ríos and Santa Fe, and cost up to US$4 billion.
Construction on a section of GNEA that extends to the northern province of Santa Fe will be completed by the end of 2015, while the entire pipeline will be ready by 2016.
Work has already begun on the natural gas pipeline in northeast Argentina, the country's planning ministry has announced. The US$25bn pipeline will be built in three sections, comprising 1810 km of trunk lines and 2334 km of branch lines across provinces Formosa, Chaco, Santa Fe, Salta, Corrientes and Misiones.
GNEA will connect to Bolivian gas transport infrastructure via the Juana Azurduy pipeline, facilitating gas imports to Argentina from Bolivia, which averaged 15.1 million m3/d in December 2014.
Section I will supply 23 localities in Formosa, Salta and Santa Fe. Section II will serve 80 towns in Formosa, Chaco and Santa Fe. Section III will supply 65 towns in Corrientes and Misiones.
State-run energy company Enarsa awarded civil works tenders for sections I and II to Argentine firms Vertúa, Helport, CPC, Techinct, Contreras Hermanos, Panedile, Rovella Carranza, Chediack, UCSA, Conta Walter Mario, BTU, Esuco, Victor Contreras, and JCR.
Pipeline materials will be provided by SIAT and ROYO. Enarsa has not yet launched tenders for section III.
Edited from various sources by Elizabeth Corner
Sources: Interfax Energy, BN Americas