The photo is sourced from businesswire.com
For now, Argentina has been the regional leader in the industry, with its operating 49 gas-fired power plants of 22.4 GW total capacity. The plants provide a little more than 60% of electricity generation. The resource base for gas generation is own gas production. Argentina accounted for exactly a quarter of South America’s gas production in 2021 (38.6 billion out of 153.3 billion m3), according to the BP World Energy Review. At the same time, the country also has two terminals to receive the liquefied natural gas (LNG) that can import up to 9.9 million tons of LNG per year (13.5 billion m3 per year in regasified equivalent).
Brazil is the second largest regional producer of electricity from gas with its 27 gas-fired power plants whose total capacity is 14.2 GW. The share of gas in the generation mix in Brazil was 14% in 2021 but in the coming years, it may more than double. In addition to the five gas-fired power plants under construction with 2.9 GW total capacity, the country has 25 power plants for 34 GW at the pre-investment stage. Much of the new capacity will come from increased availability of raw materials. According to the forecast of the Brazil Energy Research Office (EPE), gas production in the country will increase from 20.4 billion m3 in 2021 to 48.9 billion m3 in 2032, including through development of the Atlantic shelf pre-salt deposits.
In terms of construction of new gas-fired power plants, Brazil is ahead of not only Argentina where two facilities with a total capacity of 275 MW) are under construction, but also Panama where the capacity of the ongoing projects is 1.1 GW. Panama relies on the imported raw materials: the country has one terminal to receive LNG with a capacity of 1.5 million tons per year (slightly over 2 billion m3 per year in regasified equivalent). New gas-fired power plants are also under construction in Colombia, Nicaragua, Peru and Cuba, but their total capacity is inferior to that in Panama (0.8 GW).