Oil & Gas 360 Publishers Note: The increased power production with a cleaner carbon foot print is substantial. With the new scrubbers there is very little CO2 comparatively produced. NG is our friend. 

Dominican Republic independent power producer (IPP) CESPM has converted its 300MW San Pedro de Macoris oil-fired plant to burn natural gas, bringing to 750MW the volume of oil-to-gas conversions promoted by the outgoing government.

The conversion was facilitated by the new 50km Eastern gas pipeline from US utility AES’ Boca Chica LNG regasification plant in Punta Caucedo to San Pedro de Macoris.

The fuel switch advances the government’s plan to convert about 1GW of oil-burning capacity to gas derived from imported LNG.

DomRep converts oil-based power to gas -oilandgas360The new administration led by President-elect Luis Abinader, who will take office on 16 August, will continue the plant conversions to end a chronic power supply deficit and reduce retail power rates, according to policy statements from his centrist Modern Revolution party (PRM). Abinader will succeed leftist Danilo Medina.

The Dominican Republic’s LNG send-out reached 96.4 Bcf in 2019, up 23pc from 2018. The country currently imports LNG from Trinidad and Tobago and the US through the AES Andres regasification terminal, which was commissioned in 2003.

The Eastern gas pipeline is also supplying the Quisqueya 1 and 2 twin plants of 225MW each. Quisqueya 1 was converted in February 2020 and supplies the Pueblo gold mine owned by Canadian firm Barrick and US company Newmont. Quisqueya 2 is owned by ISP Egehaina and started using gas at the end of June.

Additional gas will be needed for Transcontinental Capital’s 145MW barge-mounted thermal plant outside the capital Santo Domingo that is scheduled to be commissioned by second quarter 2021.

LNG imports could grow further on the back of a US Trade and Development Agency feasibility study for a 600MW LNG-to-power project at Manzanillo on the northwest coast.

The Dominican government is also considering a proposal by state-owned China Huayang Economic and Trade Group to build a 1.2GW LNG-to-power project at the same location.

AES is currently expanding LNG storage capacity by 120,000m³ at Boca Chica. The expansion is scheduled for commissioning in early 2023 and will bring total storage at the terminal to 280,000m³.

Abinader today named Antonio Almonte as incoming energy and mines minister. He will replace Antonio Isa Conde. Almonte was an energy and mines adviser for the PRM when it was in opposition.

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