LIMA, Oct 1 (Reuters) - Brazilian builder Odebrecht SA has reached a preliminary deal with 14 banks to finance work on a natural gas pipeline project in Peru with $4.125 billion in loans, a company manager said Thursday.
Lending contracts for the Southern Gas Pipeline will likely be signed in late November after the government issues a routine approval, said the project's general manager, Rodney de Carvalho.
"We'll likely see the first disbursements in December," Carvalho said.
The pipeline, which will stretch between Peru's Camisea gas fields to its southern coast, is now about 25 percent finished. Expected capacity is 500 million cubic feet per day.
Odebrecht will control 55 percent of the project once a deal to sell 20 percent of its stake to Peruvian construction firm Grana y Montero SAA for $215 million finalizes. Enagas SA owns 25 percent of the project.
"Ever since Odebrecht started the bid on the project we thought we would sell part of our stake," Carvalho said.
Odebrecht said the expected loans will cover 80 percent of remaining work on the pipeline. The rest will come from the three companies.
Commercial operations should start in April 2017 with a tranche of the pipeline transporting gas to the region of Cusco, Carvalho said. The rest would be ready a year later.
President Ollanta Humala considers the pipeline key to ramping up electrical output for new copper mines and supplying a future petrochemicals hub on the coast.
Reporting By Marco Aquino, Writing by Mitra Taj