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Virtual gas pipeline in Bolivia starts oficial operation

Mobile regasification station.

Mobile regasification station.

At the beginning of 2016, the virtual gas pipeline in Bolivia was inaugurated, in an event in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, in the Río Grande region. Attendees included the Bolivian President, Evo Morales, the Bolivian Minister for Hydrocarbons and Energy, Luis Alberto Sánchez, the President of the Bolivian National Oilfields company YPFB (the company that owns the installation), Guillermo Luis Achá, as well as various other local authorities. There to represent SENER were its Business and Product Development Manager of Power, Oil and Gas, Borja Zárraga, and the Project Manager, Ignacio Larrea.

SENER, as the leader of the EPC consortium, carried out the design, construction and start-up of the virtual gas pipeline before finally handing it over to the client. This system comprises a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) plant, a fleet of cryogenic transport tanks and mobile regasification plants, and various satellite regasification stations. The plant produces 210 tons of LNG per day and has a storage capacity of up to 3,000 m3, meaning it can supply natural gas to some 140,000 homes across 27 communities in different parts of Bolivia, including San Julián, San José de Chiquitos and Tupiza. According to YPFB, the service will later be expanded so that 33 additional municipalities can enjoy the benefits of the virtual pipeline. Otherwise, these areas will have no access to gas, being set well apart from the traditional distribution networks, which are centered in the Santa Cruz and Potosí departments. It is the first virtual gas pipeline that operates in Bolivia. In this system, a liquefaction plant with a storage capacity for six days generates LNG that is loaded onto cryogenic transport tanks and delivered to 27 satellite regasification stations throughout the country. At these destinations, the LNG is stored in cryogenic tanks and, in order to be distributed to the municipalities and vehicle service stations, it is regasified and sent through networks of gas distribution for final consumption as household gas.

From its first engineering projects in the 1970s up to the present day, SENER has become one of the leading contractors for the gas sector, with past successes ranging from small and medium liquefying plants to major import, storage and regasification terminals, as well as storage tanks and small and medium terminals for LNG. SENER provides its own technical solutions in all such projects.


LNG storage tank at the virtual gas pipeline in Bolivia 
Warehouse at the virtual gas pipeline liquefaction plant

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