SANTO DOMINGO – Power company AES Dominicana has inaugurated a liquefied natural gas distribution terminal east of Santo Domingo, the first facility of its type in the Dominican Republic and Latin America.
The LNG terminal will yield annual savings of more than $1 billion, AES Dominicana officials said.
The terminal will allow the Dominican Republic to “significantly” reduce its high dependence on petroleum, AES Dominicana chief Marco De la Rosa said.
“With the distribution of natural gas in its liquid state to all sectors of the economy, we are in the forefront of the future of energy in the Dominican Republic,” De la Rosa said.
LNG is natural gas that has been supercooled, condensing it into a liquid that takes up to 600 times less space than in its gaseous state.
The fuel can be transported over long distances from countries that have large supplies of natural gas to those where the fuel is in demand.
The LNG terminal, among other benefits, will allow the Dominican Republic to replace 35 percent of its fuel mix, create around 300 new direct and indirect jobs, and reduce emissions of CO2, the gas believed to contribute to global warming, by more than 300 tons annually, De la Rosa said.
The use of LNG “will help achieve total savings on the order of $1.1 billion annually, representing a sum relative to 2.5 percent of the gross domestic product,” the AES Dominicana chief said.
The fuel savings can be used in the health and education sectors, “improving, at the same time, the country’s strategic position by having a more balanced fuel mix” for generating electricity, De la Rosa said.
Dominican officials are crafting strategies for making the Caribbean nation less dependent on fossil fuels and more focused on alternative and renewable energy sources.
The Dominican Republic, according to official figures, currently consumes about 165,000 barrels per day of petroleum.
AES Dominicana, a unit of U.S.-based AES Corp. and the largest private power generator in the Dominican Republic, started using natural gas to produce electricity in 2003 at the AES Andres plant located 35 kilometers (21 miles) east of Santo Domingo. EFE