(Adds cargo detail, context)
MEXICO CITY, Feb 18 (Reuters) - Two tankers carrying U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) for Mexico are expected to arrive on Thursday in the country’s Altamira and Manzanillo ports, government officials said and Refinitiv Eikon data showed, part of emergency purchases by the government to ease interrupted gas supplies.
Mexico resorted to LNG supplies to partially offset a gas deficit for power generation after cold weather froze several key gaslines crossing the U.S. border. The governor of Texas on Wednesday banned out-of-state gas supplies through Feb. 21 to prioritize the state’s utilities.
The Latin American nation is also ramping up electricity generation for its northern states by using coal and fuel oil while asking households and factories to limit consumption to avoid outages.
Malaysia-flagged LNG tanker Seri Balhaf could be the first to arrive in Mexico after departing from Freeport, Texas, on Wednesday. Loaded this week, it is carrying 151,300 cubic meters of LNG bound for Altamira in the Gulf, the data showed.
The second cargo, on Marshall Island-flagged tanker Flex Courageous, loaded 162,850 cubic meters of LNG in early February at the Sabine Pass terminal, also on the Texas coast.
It was heading to Asia after passing the Panama Canal when it was diverted on Feb. 16, the data also showed.
The tanker is now heading for the Manzanillo port on Mexico’s Pacific coast.
At least two more LNG cargoes are expected to reach Mexican ports from Asia in the coming days, Mexican officials said this week.
Mexico generates the bulk of its electricity from natural gas, which mostly arrives by pipelines from several U.S. states.
U.S. gas exports to Mexico fell to 4.2 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) on Tuesday, the lowest since May 2020, Refinitiv Eikon data shows. That compares with an average of 5.7 bcfd the previous month.
Reporting by Marianna Parraga Editing by Drazen Jorgic and David Goodman