Central America was until now the only region of the American continent where Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) was not used as fuel. In a strategic commitment, the multinational AES decided to change that reality and make Panama the gateway to the area for said fuel.
The company inaugurates this day the first "hub" of LNG from Central America in the Atlantic province of Colón, with which it expects to begin a transformation process, with the generation of energy as a spearhead. The firm also foresees that, in the future, industry, vehicles and transport in general will also bet on using this fuel, which is, among fossils, the one that produces the least carbon dioxide emissions.
Bernerd Da Santos, global director of AES Operations, said the company has accumulated almost 20 years of experience from the first LNG terminal in the Dominican Republic, where now about 50% of the electricity sector and 50% of the commercial produce with that fuel.RELATED
"We see that development potential in Central America. Today we start with the electrical part because it is our core, we are an energy company, but all the development was done not only for the plant, but to be a commercial hub, to help with the conversion of the energy matrix and to be a fundamental pillar for the development of other businesses in the region, "he said.
AES Colón, which required an investment of $ 1,150 million and has a capacity of 381 megawatts, began generating power in 2018. The infrastructure also includes an LNG loading and unloading terminal, a regasification train and a 180,000 meter storage tank cubic, of which 25% will be used for plant generation and 75%, for commercialization.
Juan Ignacio Rubiolo, president and manager of the AES Group for Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, explained that currently about 70% of the energy matrices of these countries still depend on the bunker, which is a derivative of oil, which makes them suffer from price volatility.
Rubiolo said that the goal is to initiate a transformation that allows countries to migrate to the use of LNG in a period of three to five years, a more stable fuel in terms of prices. How much could the matrices be modified? That will depend on the appetite of the countries and on the willingness of their governments to take advantage of that "single window."
"We already have countries like Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala that are interested in speeding up the process. Costa Rica obviously has an interest and a very important appetite especially in the industrial and commercial sector. We have the authorities of the Panama Canal. I think the actors are activating, "he said.