March 3, 2009 / 6:03 PM / 10 years ago

UPDATE 2-Rio LNG terminal to get first cargo March 11

(Recasts, adds detail throughout, source quotes)

NEW YORK, March 3 (Reuters) - Brazilian state oil company Petrobras’ (PETR4.SA)(PBR.N) newly-built liquefied natural gas terminal in Rio de Janeiro will receive its first LNG cargo on March 11, according to sources and ship tracking data on Reuters on Tuesday.

The 138,000-cubic-metre Excellence tanker, coming from Trinidad and Tobago, will serve as a testing cargo for the terminal in Guanabara Bay before commercial deliveries begin later in the year.

The tanker was last seen off the coast of Trinidad on Tuesday, according to AISLive ship tracker.

Construction of the terminal was completed in January. It has the capacity to import up to 20 million cubic metres of gas per day.

“Petrobras intends to begin the commissioning of the Guanabara terminal in March,” a source close to the situation told Reuters.

“The terminal will be commissioned with the lowest possible volume,” the source said, adding that commercial volumes will begin “hopefully this dry season (May to November)”.

Petrobras has signed supply agreements to the terminal with Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) and BG Group BG.L but also has undisclosed agreements with other suppliers.

LNG deliveries to Brazil will serve as a swing in the dry season when hydropower production wanes, from May to November.

Water reservoirs in Brazil are currently about 70 percent full, slightly higher than usual at his time of year, which could lessen the amount of LNG needed in the dry season, analysts have said.

Brazil has also recently begun imports of LNG to its terminal in Pecem. (Reporting by Edward McAllister; Editing by Marguerita Choy)

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