Gasco Eyes Natural Gas Fueling Opportunities In Colombia

| Chile and Colombia

Gasco CNG dispensers in Chile

Chilean gas distributor Gasco, a subsidiary of Compania General de Electricidad SA (CGE), is considering involvement in the Colombian natural gas fuel market. The company’s current investment analysis signals intention to add compressed natural gas (CNG) outlets to its recently acquired Colombian LPG businesses – 70% of  UNIGAS in March 2011 and 70% of VidaGas in April 2010. “We are evaluating how to address the service station market that looks very attractive and where the options could be, scouting locations and installing new stations, or buying assets from smaller players that are already installed. We will make a decision this year,” said Gasco CEO, Gerardo Cood.

Cood explained the LPG market in Colombia was significantly fragmented before Gasco’s entry and the same situation exists with CNG. He noted both the cost of setting up a CNG station and the consumer price for CNG are cheaper in Colombia than Chile, while the price difference between CNG and liquid fuels is about 50%. Colombia is said to be experiencing a period of economic expansion and development, not only changing population consumer habits population, but also resulting in a boost for infrastructure development in general.

Cood says Gasco seeks to replicate the model already being developed in Chile through the network of Autogasco natural gas fueling stations, initially developed in conjunction with the Colombian company Terpel under the Gazel brand. There are about 340,000 natural gas vehicles (NGVs) in Colombia.

This article compiled using information from a Gasco press release.

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