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GNL Quintero

GNL Quintero provides clean, efficient and safe energy to central Chile

Our company plays a fundamental role in the country's energy security.

We receive energy from multiple global sources and deliver it to Chilean homes and industries.

Our Terminal has the best available technology for receiving, storing and regasifying Liquefied Natural Gas.

We work in harmony with the environment, handling one of the cleanest and most efficient energy sources.

We comply with the highest safety standards in the design, construction and operation of our Terminal.

We put our energy to work for the development of Quintero and its people.

GNL Quintero is committed to Sustainability.

Our History

The global demand for natural gas has grown significantly, especially during the last decade, because it is a clean-burning, competitively-priced and widely available energy source.

At the end of the 1990s, large investments were made in Chile in natural gas transportation pipelines and distribution systems to deliver this fuel to various markets. Power stations, industrial plants, refineries, public services, housing, businesses and vehicles were either built or converted to operate with natural gas which, at that time, was imported exclusively from Argentina by pipeline.

However, starting in 2004-2005, the situation in Argentina led to a change in the conditions of natural gas supply from that country, revealing the need to find reliable, secure new sources to supply the people and companies using natural gas on a daily basis, under a model that did not depend on a single provider.

This triggered the decision to promote a project to construct a Terminal for the reception, unloading, storage and regasification of LNG, a product that, thanks to its essential characteristics (its volume is reduced 600 times when cooled to -160° C and converted into a liquid), can be economically transported by ship from the various producer countries.

First steps

In 2004, the government and the main gas-consuming companies in central Chile started a technical and economic feasibility study, under a public-private initiative, to ensure the supply of natural gas by means of an LNG Regasification Terminal.

Various potential sites for the Terminal were evaluated and it was decided that the Quintero Bay was the most suitable due to its natural and technical characteristics and its proximity to the main natural gas markets. On conclusion of these initial studies, the project was submitted to the Environmental Impact Assessment System (SEIA) and the necessary maritime concessions were applied for. In 2005, the Environmental Approval Resolution and the necessary maritime concessions for project implementation were issued.

In 2005, a natural gas consumers' Pool was established and an international public bid for tenders was opened for long-term LNG supply and the LNG regasification services.

In 2006, the first long-term LNG supply contract was awarded to BG Group, a world leader in the LNG industry, and the engineering study (FEED) for the project to CB&I.

In 2007, 21-year contracts were signed for the following services: LNG supply (“SPA”); LNG reception, unloading, storage and regasification in the Terminal (¨TUA”); and the sale of natural gas to clients (“GSA's“). At the time, GNL Quintero had the following shareholders: BG Group (40%), Endesa Chile S.A. (20%), Metrogas S.A. (20%) and ENAP (20%).

At the same time, a gas transportation contract was signed with Electrogas S.A. for the construction and operation of a pipeline between Quintero and Quillota and tie-in to the existing pipeline to Santiago; a lump-sum, turnkey EPC contract was signed with CB&I, a globally experienced company in the construction of LNG tanks, to build our LNG regasification Terminal.

In 2008, GNL Quintero obtained a long-term Project Finance syndicated loan for US$1.057 billion with 14 international financial institutions (BBVA, BG, Banesto, Santander, Calyon, Fortis-BNP Paribas, ING, Intesa Sanpaolo, Mizuho, West LB, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, DnBNORbank and Dekabank). Meanwhile, construction work of the initial project progressed, enabling the first vessel to berth 25 months after the signing of the EPC contract, and Terminal operations to commence only 2 months later, in record time.

On 1 July 2009, the first LNG vessel - the Methane Jane Elizabeth from Trinidad and Tobago with a capacity of 145,000 m3 - berthed at our Terminal. Her arrival permitted testing of the Terminal and its start-up, and the first natural gas was delivered into the pipeline as "Early Gas".

Early Gas Phase

During this phase, LNG vessels remained permanently moored alongside the jetty, acting as floating storage tanks and unloading their cargo as the market required supply. This operation mode, designed by GNL Quintero, permitted supply of natural gas to customers while construction of the two large 160,000-m3 storage tanks was on-going, anticipating the Terminal’s in-service date by one year.

During this phase, the 14,200-m3 Early Gas storage tank permitted continuous supply of natural gas during the changeover of storage vessels or when a vessel had to de-berth due to weather conditions.

On 22 October 2009, our Terminal was officially inaugurated.

Safety put to test

The GNL Quintero Terminal was built according to demanding international standards to withstand major earthquakes, ensuring the safety of people and the environment and damage resistance in its installations and production processes.

This was put to a severe test on 27 February 2010 when an earthquake of 8.8 degrees on the Richter scale hit central-southern Chile. The Terminal, located approximately 421 kilometers from the epicenter, withstood the earthquake unharmed and supply of natural gas to clients was maintained.

Regular Operations

Regular commercial operations commenced on 1 January 2011, with all the Terminal's components constructed and operating at full capacity including the two 160,000-m3 tanks completed in 2010.

Since its start-up, GNL Quintero has received ships from such diverse places as Trinidad and Tobago, Qatar, Equatorial Guinea and Algeria, and LNG re-exports from the USA and Mexico, opening a new commercial LNG route from the Atlantic to the Pacific through the Strait of Magellan. The Terminal has delivered all the natural gas that has been required by the market: the natural gas distribution companies of the Metropolitan and Valparaíso Regions that supply the residential, commercial, industrial and transportation markets; the electricity generating companies that operate with natural gas; and the ENAP-owned Aconcagua refinery in Concón. The Terminal has operated safely, reliably and efficiently, with no lost-time incidents to date. Our commitment to safety and our outstanding results have been widely recognized by the most prestigious institutions.

In May 2011, the LNG Truck Loading Facility came into operation, establishing an attractive new distribution channel for this fuel to areas not connected by pipeline and allowing it to supply the ENAP-owned Bío-Bío Refinery in Talcahuano as well as a rapidly growing group of industries in central-southern Chile.

Today, GNL Quintero supplies natural gas through pipelines to markets in the Valparaíso, Metropolitan and Libertador Bernardo O'Higgins Regions and, using LNG tankers, to markets not connected by pipeline that are up to 1,000 kilometers away from the Terminal.

In 2012, the Spanish company Enagas, one of the world's most important natural gas infrastructure operators, signed an agreement with BG Group to purchase a 20% stake in GNL Quintero through a subsidiary, Terminal de Valparaíso. In 2013, Oman Oil, an important energy infrastructure investment fund, also purchased shares from BG Group through Terminal de Valparaíso S.A. As a result, GNL Quintero's ownership structure is now as follows: Terminal de Valparaíso (Enagas, Oman Oil) 40%, ENAP (20%), Endesa Chile (20%) and Metrogas (20%).

In July 2014, GNL Quintero S.A. agreed the terms for the placement of a corporate bond for US$1,100 million on the international debt market. This operation highlighted investors' interest and confidence in the company.

One of the company's key challenges was the project, inaugurated in March 2015, to expand the Terminal's supply capacity through the installation of a vaporization train that increased its regasification capacity by 50% to a total of 15 million m3/day as well as of two new loading bays at the Truck Loading Facility that doubled its LNG loading capacity to 2,500 m3/day. This expansion required an investment of US$30 million in addition to the initial investment of US$1,050 million in the Terminal.

GNL Quintero has, in this way, positioned itself as an important contributor to Chile's Energy Security and Sustainable Development.

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