In Rio Grande, Santa Cruz this week, Bolivia’s President Evo Morales launched the construction of the country’s first Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) plant. By doing so, President Morales says he is setting the stage for a major change to the energy matrix in his country. LNG will be produced for the domestic market — for transportation fuel and for energy, and will be directed to cities and regions where gas supply has been difficult or non-existent.
Speaking at the ceremony, the President explained that further to the LNG plant, two mobile and 33 fixed regasification stations will be set up. 27 regions are expected to receive gas by the middle of 2016, gradually replacing LPG and gasoline as mainstream fuels, and there is capacity to expand production as demand grows.
“With transporting LNG in cryogenic tanks from the new plant located in Rio Grande – Santa Cruz and delivery of this product via the satellite regasification stations, we will have a natural gas supply that means gas produced in Bolivia benefits Bolivians,” said Luis Guillermo Acha, head of state-owned YPFB which will manage the plant.
Furthermore, the advent of LNG in Bolivia has stimulated the visit of a trade delegation of public and private bus operators to Russia in order to learn from that country’s changing vehicular energy matrix, from gasoline and diesel to LNG. “This visit responds to an agreement between the Russian firm Gazprom and President Morales to go see how public transport could operate with LNG,” said Minister of Hydrocarbons and Energy, Luis Alberto Sanchez.
He also noted that the policy of changing the energy system “is an option to lower diesel consumption” in the country and, therefore, reduce the import of this fuel.
(Source: Ministry of Hydrocarbons and Energy)