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Argentina to Receive LNG Spot Cargo From Belgium at Bahia Blanca

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May 17 (Bloomberg) -- Argentina, which has no long-term contracts to import liquefied natural gas, is scheduled to receive a spot cargo of the fuel from Belgium today, according to ship-tracking data.

The Golar Viking, with a capacity of about 138,000 cubic meters, will arrive at the port of Bahia Blanca southwest of Buenos Aires, according to ship transmissions captured by IHS Fairplay on Bloomberg. The vessel sailed from Belgium’s LNG terminal in Zeebrugge, where it loaded the supercooled natural gas and departed April 27, the data show.

Argentina imports LNG through YPF SA, the country’s biggest energy company, and state-run Energia Argentina SA, known as Enarsa. Nobody answered two calls to YPF’s main switchboard in Buenos Aires outside normal business hours, and Enarsa officials didn’t immediately respond to e-mails seeking comment.

Officials from Fluxys, the company that owns and operates the Zeebrugge terminal, didn’t respond to a phone call to their Brussels office. The facility is used by traders to store and export cargoes as Belgium doesn’t produce its own LNG.

YPF last week closed a tender to buy seven LNG cargoes for delivery to Bahia Blanca. Enarsa and YPF have issued seven spot purchase tenders seeking as many as 150 shipments since December.

Latin America’s LNG import capacity will increase to 49.2 million metric tons a year in 2020 from a projected 30 million this year, Anton Safronov, Total SA’s LNG origination director, said May 9 in Singapore.

To contact the reporter on this story: Chou Hui Hong in Singapore at chong43@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Alexander Kwiatkowski at akwiatkowsk2@bloomberg.net

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