The investment arm of the Inter-American Development Bank, IDB Invest, has on-lend US$6 million to National Gas Company in Belize for the construction, operation, and maintenance of a Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) marine terminal in the southern region of the country, at the Port in Big Creek.
The first of its kind in Belize, the terminal will have 18 product tanks and a blending tank.
Upon completion, the terminal and storage facility will have the capacity to receive LPG products directly from the US Gulf Coast and will bring LPG to no more than an hour away from all major urban centres in the country of Belize through strategically located inland distribution depots.
In addition, the port facilities will include equipment and technology to unload Marine LPG carriers, truck loading skids with state-of-the-art shut off and safety technology, a product blending skid, a high-tech control room, office facilities and other complementary infrastructure, all meeting the latest industry standards.
“The National Gas Company (Belize) Limited is operating under a build-own-operate-transfer agreement with the Government of Belize and will operate the terminal and facilities for 15 years….” a statement from IDB Invest outlined.
After the 15 years have expired, National Gas Company will fully transfer the terminal and facilities to the Government of Belize.
Given the affordability of LPG to Belize, this energy infrastructure will provide the Central American country with access to world markets for LPG directly, thereby mitigating the detrimental effects of climate change on road transportation, which was previously the only method of importation.
“In addition to energy security and climate change mitigation, the transparency of pricing and certainty of quality will create a more competitive retail environment that will ultimately benefit the Belizean consumer and the Belizean economy. Cost of the debt financing is also reflected in the price buildup of the LPG and therefore a cost-effective long-term financing strategy is necessary for an expensive and critical national asset for the country of Belize.
Before the country of Belize completed this important national milestone, 93 per cent of the LPG it was consuming came into the country through Guatemala from ports in other neighbouring Central American countries.
The National Gas Company started its operations in May 2020.