The project of the regasification plant of the Pacific has not officially started its development, not even the sketch in plans, but the first inconveniences have already begun to appear.
A letter from the General Maritime Directorate (Dimar), sent to the Mining and Energy Planning Unit (Upme) on November 6 and to which Portafolio had access, explains in a technical manner that the place where the infrastructure assembly is projected to take place would affect the operation of the port itself.
In the letter, the Dimar highlights that it made an analysis of the conditions and aspects of maritime safety related to the port of Buenaventura, as well as the operations required for the execution of the project, which includes, among others, the gas pipeline, the depth of the dock and the transfer of cargo from ship to ship.
Likewise, the entity warns that risks associated with the project were detected that directly affect maritime safety and plant operations.
“Due to the above, in order to ensure the safety of life at sea and the prevention of pollution of the marine environment, it is necessary to bring to the attention of the observed risks in order to take the appropriate measures to manage them,” highlights the Dimar’s letter.
WARNING AND RECOMMENDATION
The aforementioned entity explains in a technical manner in the eight pages of the letter, details of the maritime traffic of the port of Buenaventura in the last five years, and hints that the new vessels are now wider and deeper, such as gas tankers, which prevents a margin of maneuverability of the same.
“The current dimensions of the internal channel of Buenaventura are not the most optimal for the safe navigation of the Qmax type vessel, due to the fact that the width of the current channel is less than required”, emphasizes one of the sections of the letter.
Likewise, the Dimar explains that international standards and recommendations establish that the width of an access channel should be at least twice the width of a vessel, more so if it is of the Qmax type.
“The depth of this minimum maneuvering or turning area should have the same depth determined for the Qmax type vessel, but taking into account the current depth conditions, the vessel should maneuver with an operational draft of 9.57 meters,” the letter states.
But not only the Dimar makes the warning with respect to the access channel, also with the dock for the berthing of vessels. In that sense, the entity states that this structure must have a width product of the sum of the two vessels, and the length, a little larger than the longest ship.
“The berthing area must be at least 450 meters long and 123 meters wide. The company in charge of the terminal will have to guarantee a berthing area with a minimum depth of 13.69 meters for the safe stay of the Qmax vessel,” he says.
By way of conclusion, the Dimar again highlights that the inner bay of the port of Buenaventura is an area of protected waters with restricted spaces, which would hinder the maneuverability of Qmax type vessels, dedicated to the tasks in the transport of liquefied natural gas (LNG).
In addition, in the same sense, the entity reiterates that: “gas tankers arriving to unload liquefied gas must be coupled to the regasification unit, thus increasing the size of the berthing box, in depth, width and length”.
RESERVES OF THE NAVY
But not only the Dimar makes observations and expresses its concern regarding the project of the regasification plant in the port of Buenaventura, the Navy does the same, and goes further to say that it does not see with good eyes the assembly of the infrastructure.
In a letter similar to that of the first entity, Vice Admiral Javier Díaz Reina, inspector general of the National Navy, exposes to the National Infrastructure Agency (ANI) his reservations about the initiative.
“The Ministry of Defense -National Navy- opposes due to inconvenience to the concession process for the location of a Regasification Terminal in the vicinity of the Military Units located in the sector of Isla Naval”, highlights the naval officer.
“The plant would be located 500 meters from the 21st and 25th Marine Infantry Battalions and the Coast Guard Station, with a greater risk for the military and civilian personnel that work there, since in addition to the lodgings there are fuel and explosives warehouses and ammunition depots”, warns the Navy.
Finally, it agrees with the Dimar in pointing out that there would be an impact on maritime traffic and the execution of maneuvers and operational mobility, due to the transit of ships to and from the terminal.