Oil and Gas

Supergasbras will have a LPG terminal in Pecém

Mar, 24, 2022 Posted by Gabriel Malheiros

Week 202212

With the price of gas cylinders skyrocketing and increasingly more real shortage risks, Supergasbras decided to invest almost R$ 1 billion in what could be the first port terminal in the Northeast of Brazil dedicated to the storage of refrigerated LPG. The deal was closed with the Pecém Industrial Port Complex in Ceará. Parallelly, there is a similar project by Nacional Gás and Copagaz to build an LPG terminal in the Port of Suape in Pernambuco.

Investments are estimated at R$ 920 million and the terminal will have a capacity for 43 thousand tonnes of LPG. The annual handling estimate is 480 thousand tonnes. The gas is purchased in the US and distributed to the Northeast region, highly dependent on imports. The gas sold by Petrobras comes from the American market in a tanker vessel to the Port of Suape.

Although the time is ripe, Supergasbras’ decision follows a strategy that began almost three years ago. “With Petrobras selling refineries, the market became more fragmented, with several players having to find replacements for what was previously done exclusively by one supplier,” comments Julio Cardoso, president of Supergasbras to Pipeline. “We have a large operation and we think now it is a good time to invest in infrastructure to guarantee the supply of 1.5 million tonnes of LPG into the country.”

The company is controlled by the Dutch SHV, the world’s largest distributor of LPG with terminals in countries like England, France, and China. “The group also owns SRM trading, which sells 7 to 8 million tonnes per year, and we will be able to provide expertise in importing the product to Brazil,” says Cardoso.

Considering the time it took for Petrobras to dispatch another vessel to Ceará from Suape, Supergasbras estimates a reduction of five to ten days in the lead period for making the gas available to the public. In addition, other distributors will also be able to use the terminal for their own import operations.

The Port of Pecém is controlled by the state-government of Ceará, which owns a share of 70%, and by the Port of Rotterdam, its partner since 2018, with a share of 30%.

Supergasbras’ LPG terminal will not necessarily help reduce the price of the gas cylinder given that the cost is paired with the international market and, thus, dollarized. Still, it certainly increases the competitiveness of the local LPG market and prevents shortages like the one that happened in Paraíba earlier this year from happening. 

“It is a huge additional storage, which guarantees supply, and is more permanent than the temporary solution of a tanker ship,” says Cardoso. “There is no LPG terminal in Brazil with this tank capacity today. It is the first terminal on land.”

Source: Pipeline Valor Econômico 

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