The gas unit of Spanish utility Endesa is planning to build a 22km-long gas pipeline in the province of Cadiz, between El Puerto de Santa Maria and Rota, for approximately E4.2 million. Construction is scheduled to last three months, with the infrastructure coming on stream in the last quarter of 2007.

The pipeline is expected to expand Andalusia’s natural gas pipe and transmission infrastructure in order to meet the expected increase in demand and to reinforce the mainland transmission system. The project is part of Endesa’s construction plans for gas transmission pipelines to supply piped natural gas to the Bay of Cadiz.

In addition, the pipeline will allow Endesa gas Meridional, Endesa Gas’s distribution subsidiary in Andalusia, to broaden its reach by supplying new markets such as Rota, Chipiona and Sanlucar de Barrameda. The project will also make it possible to connect supply points such as the two prisons in El Puerto de Santa Maria and the Rota air force base, among others.

Endesa said that, based on current demand and the outlook for the residential market, consumption in the area is forecast to reach 136GWh per year in 2011.

The new pipeline branch is a continuation of the Jerez de la Frontera-El Puerto de Santa Maria pipeline, and is part of the specific collaboration agreement signed in November 2003 between the Andalusia regional government and Endesa Gas Transportista for the development of gas infrastructure to bring piped natural gas to cities where it is currently not available.

Endesa said that the initiative would enhance the gas network’s efficiency by eliminating the satellite LNG plants currently operating in the area. Indeed, as a result of the project, the LNG plant at Costa Ballena can be dismantled as natural gas will be available for distribution directly from the pipeline.