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Petrobras to dismiss tender to lease its Bahia LNG terminal

Petrobras

Petrobras-owned FSRU regasification terminal in Bahia, Brazil

By Argus

RIO
Petroleumworld 10 05 2020

Brazilian state-controlled Petrobras is likely to scrap a tender offer to lease its Bahia LNG terminal because of compliance issues associated with the two participants.

Petrobras held a hearing yesterday in the most recent phase of the tender to lease the 20mn m³/d import terminal and associated pipeline.

Petrobras received just one proposal from energy company Golar Power, a 50:50 joint venture between Norway's Golar LNG and US private equity fund Stonepeak.

Petrobras said its integrity risk assessment, which is part of its corruption prevention program, disqualifies Golar Power from the process.

Late last month Golar Power chief executive Eduardo Antonello took a leave of absence after he was implicated in the latest plea deal with Brazilian state prosecutors in the sweeping Car Wash corruption probe that dates back to 2014. The allegations stem from Antonello's previous work with Norwegian contractor Seadrill, which said on 23 September that its Brazilian subsidiary had been served with a search and seizure warrant as part of the investigation.

In a statement, Golar Power told Argus that it refutes Petrobras' decision to heighten its assessment of the company's integrity risk, and added that it would present its arguments in an appeal to reverse the decision.

Golar Power's only potential competitor for the terminal lease is BP, which submitted a non-binding offer and requested an extension of the deadline for binding proposals, as it had not yet responded to Petrobras' integrity risk assessment or its requisite declaration of compliance.

Petrobras said it is now assessing the participants' appeals but added that it could be forced to carry out a new bidding process.

The Brazilian company had previously projected that the winner of the tender would be cleared to begin importing LNG through the terminal in early 2021.

Last month, Petrobras redeployed the 173,400m³ Excelerate Experience floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) from the Bahia terminal to its Guanabara terminal as it prepares to lease the Bahia site.

The 138,000m³ Golar Winter FSRU continues to operate at the company's Pecem LNG terminal in Ceara state.

Petrobras is in the process of increasing regasification capacity at Guanabara, which had been idle since 2018, from 20mn m³/d to 30mn m³/d.

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