Sycar almost ready to start construction on Ecuador’s first LNG terminal

US-based firm Sycar has secured key approval for its FSRU-based project in Ecuador as it looks to start construction later this year.

The Ministry of Environment and Water of Ecuador has granted Sycar the final nod for the project’s environmental impact study, the developer said in a statement on Monday.

In addition, the ministry’s resolution marks the completion of the permits phase of the project and a “step towards” the construction of the LNG import terminal, it said.

Sycar says it now has to present the government with “proof of payment of the environmental license tax and the certificate of environmental coverage toward the issuance of the environmental license.”

“This final milestone maintains the project on track with the original schedule giving a
positive sign to Ecuadorian industrial customers of the future ample availability of LNG
volumes beyond the domestic offer,” it said.

FID still needed for the small-scale project

The Miami-based firm previously said it had teamed up with an unidentified trader for what it says is the first LNG import development in Ecuador.

Moreover, the small-scale project with a capacity of some 0.4 mtpa includes port facilities to accommodate an FSRU which would supply regasified LNG to the Ecuadorian power and industrial markets. This includes the Machala gas-fired power plant.

Sycar previously said that the facility would also have a truck filling stations.

Located in Bajo Alto in El Oro province, the facility would sit in sheltered inland waters with average water depths of about 11 meters. The terminal would cater to the natural gas needs for the southern part of Ecuador, according to Sycar.

However, the firm still needs to take a final investment decision in order to start building the project.

Besides developing the terminal, the firm also said last month it had reached a deal with Air Flow USA to start supplying LNG via ISO containers in Ecuador.

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