Government Eyes Natural Gas For Power Generation In Costa Rica

The government wants to accelerate the introduction of natural gas in the country as a substitute for diesel for power generation. It also assesses the use for other activities such as public transport and freight.

This interest in giving priority to this alternative energy was configured on a agreement of the Council of Energy Subsector on May 2.

The committee agreed to ask the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) complete the analysis necessary to evaluate the impacts of the introduction of natural gas in generating electricity.

The report should be ready within a period not exceeding two months.

To ICE was also asked to continue with the plan to convert the complex thermal Moin, a combined cycle. This was the first step “for the possible incorporation of natural gas as fuel for generation in this plant.”

A study contracted by the Costa Rican Oil Refinery (Recope) and ICE, determined that the use of natural gas here, it is feasible and would generate returns if it were used as a substitute for diesel thermal in the plant Moin.

However, implement the plan goes through an initial investment of $ 75 million to build a terminal and regasification plant in Limon.

Rene Castro, Minister of Environment, Energy and Telecommunications (Minaet), explained that natural gas is less bad than the transition temperature and the payment of investment is very fast.

“Also, how do we justify continue burning diesel and bunker if we have an alternative with great benefits,” he said.

The Council asked the ICE and Refinery work on a proposal to introduce the product and have a work schedule.

Gilbert de la Cruz, director of the National Electrical ICE Planning, explained that, among other things, we must determine the price payable for the natural gas to be imported, and if the quantities actually required by the Institute justify the investment required.

“The big consumer and to introduce the product to the country would be the ICE” he said.

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