The Government of Southern Bolivia’s Department of Tarija is continuing the regional transition to compressed natural gas (CNG) for transportation. Speaking at the presentation and launch of buses for conversion to natural gas, Secretary of Hydrocarbons, Fernando Vega, said the program will have a significant benefit for the citizens of Tarija by greatly reducing pollution.
Vega added that fifth-generation natural gas equipment will be installed and the goal is to convert 5,000 vehicles and 2,500 buses, which would reduce the costs of gasoline and diesel consumption. He stressed that the main objective of the national and provincial governments with the change of energy matrix from gasoline and diesel to CNG is to eliminate the oil subsidy which is costing about $13 million annually in subsidies.
“If we carry out this conversion, subsidies would not be necessary in the second year and the state would save on diesel consumption, and in the span of 6-7 years we will return the money lent by the government,” Vega added, explaining how the program has been justified.
Meanwhile the director of the NGV program, Enrique Flores, explained that tests have been carried out on converted minibuses over the past 10 months in all kinds of field-related situations, with two buses “working in public service for five months working very well,” he said.
Tarija is a national showcase for natural gas vehicle conversions in Bolivia, and in this third year of a national conversion drive it is hoped that the success of the Tarija conversion program will stimulate broader uptake of CNG nationally.
(Source: Department of Tarija)