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Second natural gas plant should be built on north coast

Minister of Energy and Mines Pelegrin Castillo says if a second natural gas refinery is built in the country, it should be located on the north coast. He has turned down proposals to build a second refinery 30 km away from the existing AES refinery on the south coast. He pointed out that the Dominican Republic is on the hurricane route and putting all its natural gas capacity on one coast would increase the risk vulnerability.

He said that the construction of infrastructure including natural gas plants and electricity generation plans needs to respond to a national energy security plan that has yet to be drafted.

He admitted that natural gas reserves are currently below the 90 days recommended by the International Energy Organization (IEO). “Given the weakness of the state and the lack of energy security policy and given the weight of individual interests is that the matter has not yet been resolved,” he said.

He said anywhere in the world, even if made by the private sector, investments are subject to regulation, including the provision for their strategic geographical positioning.

He said that the energy sector is strategic and the Constitution orders the government to guarantee the country’s sustainable and equitable development. For that reason, he believes the next natural gas plant should be built in Manzanillo, in the northwest province of Montecristi. He said it would be good to install a natural gas terminal and an energy park that could even sell power to northern Haiti, adding that the Cibao region could also be better served from there.

Castillo said that they were in the process of drafting a Ruling for Third Party Access to Natural Gas Installations. The ruling will establish the general criteria for the technical operation of the system, payment, tariffs system, tolls and other matters. The ruling also seeks to guarantee the continuity, quality and security of the natural gas system, by coordinating the work of the market players, and respecting the principles of objectivity, transparency and non-discrimination. He said that at present, the AES terminal, the only one in the country, is only using 31% of its installed capacity that is 160,000 cubic meters of liquid natural gas. AES says that the use of natural gas has represented US$1.8 billion in savings for the Dominican Republic in the past eight years.

Source: DR1, Eldinero

March 3, 2015

Category: DR News |

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