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Caribbean LNG

Gas is a Natural for the Dominican Republic

Posted by on 09 April 2017
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"For island nations in the Caribbean, the economic and environmental effects of oil dependency are well known. A heavy reliance on fuel oil for power generation means they pay some of the highest rates in the world for electricity and see relatively high levels of air pollution and carbon emissions. But efforts to break this dependency have so far been fruitless." Jeremy Martin & Alexis Arthur, The Petroleum Economist, April 2014

Back in 2001 the Caribbean relied on oil for about 92% of its total energy consumption, now that number is closer to 85%. Fernando González Nicolás has plans to make that number even lower. President of Business Development firm Consorcio Comercial del Caribe, González  is determined to make the Dominican Republic the gas and LNG hub in the Caribbean. I sat down with González, one of the speakers at our LNGgc Event in London this September, to ask him about his organization and his plans.

KNect365 Energy:  Can you give our readers some background on energy in the Dominican Republic?

Fernando González Nicolás: The Dominican Republic has a territory of 48,000 square kilometers and shares the island of Hispaniola in the Caribbean with Haiti. The country has a population of over 10.5 million people and no hydrocarbons are currently extracted – all fuels are imported. Since 2015, the recently established Energy Ministry is promoting the exploration of oil and gas which is currently at early stages.

KNect365 Energy: What energy resources do you import?

Fernando González Nicolás: Dominican Republic fuel imports were of a total of 52.25 MM bbls in 2014 and were comprised of 23% natural gas, 18% LPG, 18% crude oil, 15% fuel oil, 11% gasoil, 9% gasoline, 4% Avtur and 2% others.

KNect365 Energy: What do you export?

Fernando González Nicolás: Dominican Republic began re-exporting LNG during 2016 from the Caucedo LNG terminal in the south coast. The Caucedo LNG Terminal has been in operations since 2003 and was built by AES Dominicana. It has 160,000 M3 of storage capacity and is currently approximately 30% utilized. Recently the terminal was conditioned for exporting gas in isotanks to the Caribbean region. The terminal is situated beside one of the largest and busiest transshipment ports in the region.

KNect365 Energy: How much of your energy is powered by natural gas, or renewables, for example?

Fernando González Nicolás: The main consumer of energy in the Dominican Republic is the power sector, which has a total capacity of 3,662 MW. The matrix has experienced a substantial diversification from away from fuel oil and is presently composed as follows: 50% fuel oil, 28% natural gas, 14% coal, 6% Hydro, and 2% wind. Natural gas is consumed by various sectors such as, power generators (88.5%), industries (9.2%) and vehicles (2.3%).

KNect365 Energy: Can you tell our readers about “Consorcio Comercial del Caribe SA CCC” of which you are the President?

Fernando González Nicolás: : The firm Consorcio Comercial del Caribe, CCC was established in 1990 by a group of service companies related to insurance, banking, shipping and media.

KNect365 Energy: Do you work primarily with energy companies, or what are examples of some other companies you work with?

Fernando González Nicolás: Consorcio Comercial del Caribe, CCC, as a business development firm has created influential links in the private and public sectors in the Dominican Republic as well in the Caribbean region, especially in energy. Our firm provides advisory services to oil and gas companies, especially identifying, screening and closing transactions.

CCC provides business development advisory services to the marine contractor Weeks Marine. And in the past to Carib LPG Trading, Trinidad’s Republic Bank, Generadora San Felipe, Compañía de Electricidad de San Pedro de Macorís, Scotia Energy, the Commonwealth Development corporation, CDC, among others.

KNect365 Energy: What exactly do you do for the energy companies?

Fernando González Nicolás: The advisory services, which are provided, cover marketing intelligence, referral of services, customer relationship management, and collections among others.

KNect365 Energy: You plan on making “the Dominican Republic the gas and LNG hub in the Caribbean” tell me a little bit about LNG in the Caribbean and the Dominican Republic in particular and how you hope to grow LNG there?

Fernando González Nicolás: 20 million people live on the island that includes the Dominican Republic and Haiti. The Dominican Republic by itself has 14 ports for container and general cargo of which: 3 are LPG terminals (Refidomsa, Coastal and Azua), 3 are wet fuel terminals (Refidomsa, Coastal and Interquimica) and 1 is an LNG terminal (Caucedo). Being geographically in the center of the Caribbean Sea provides an attractive position for distribution purposes. Due to the position of the Dominican Republic and to the size of the market, distribution centers are developing not only for fuels but for other types of products. The Dominican Republic is becoming an important player as a hub in the region.

KNect365 Energy: Do any other Caribbean nations export LNG?

Fernando González Nicolás: LNG is both produced and exported in Trinidad. LNG is re-exported, but not produced in the Dominican Republic.

KNect365 Energy: What about Jamaica? There have been multiple stories in the Caribbean press about how Jamaica sees themselves as the next LNG Hub.

Fernando González Nicolás: Jamaica is moving towards LNG in a big way. It will take time to redistribute LNG in the Caribbean. LNG is promoted in Jamaica by Fortress and the Jamaica Public service Company, however it is mostly to supply the local demand of LNG of the Jamaican market. The Dominican Republic is much more advanced. We are exporting now out of the AES LNG terminal in Caucedo. This terminal began operations in 2003 and began to export this year.

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