Bolivia’s Implementing Entity [for] Conversion to Natural Gas Vehicles (EEC-GNV), through it’s free Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) vehicle conversion program has converted 132,717 vehicles since 2011, reports Fernando Salinas, EEC-GNV Director General. Almost 24,000 conversions have been completed since the start of 2015.
These conversions, along with those made before the creation of the program, generated more than USD 250 million savings to the state in the resources allocated to the subsidy of gasoline over the past 5 years.
“The recovery of ownership of hydrocarbons through nationalization allowed our state to pursue a policy of affecting change to the energy matrix through the free CNG vehicle conversion program. Nationalization returned our sovereignty and national dignity,” said Salinas.
Until 2005, Bolivia had only 37,962 natural gas vehicles (NGVs). In the period 2006-2016, the figure rose by 722% amounting to 349,973 vehicles using CNG as a primary fuel.
The EEC-GNV has been providing free CNG conversion kits since 2011, including CNG cylinders and payment of labor for the installation of equipment in authorized workshops. The owners of vehicles using this energy derive more than 50% savings in economic resources to buy fuel.
The EEC-GNV has also developed a Cylinder Requalification Program that provides security and sustainability to the CNG converted vehicles via a specialized technical review every 5 years.
EEC-GNV is also planning a program for converting diesel vehicles to CNG through different technologies, to replace the use of subsidized diesel and reduce environmental pollution.