Economy March 4, 2015 | 8:58 am

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Electricity Pact would save up to US$700M yearly: Utility

Santo Domingo.- Dominican Republic’s electricity sector has been submitted to crisis for over 120 years and can only be solved with a harmonious integration of its components, for which the Electricity Pact would be a shield for all short and long term projects to save the country as much as US$700 million annually.

State-owned Electric Utility (CDEEE) CEO Rubén Jimenez on Tuesday said the Electricity Pact would lead to rebuilt power lines, an efficient generation base, remote meters and micro power plants.

The official said the key to end the crisis is to change and expand the generation base, which he affirms will save US$500 million this year on lower fuel oil prices, which he affirms takes up half of the electricity subsidy.

"We’re trying to take advantage the project and a diversified array down the road based essentially on natural gas," Jimenez said, noting that a 1,000Mw power plant built in the east region awaits natural gas, but has to operate with “very expensive fuel.”

Jimenez said replacing the current generation base would prevent companies and industries, mainly free zones, from leaving the country, which could negatively impact Dominican Republic’s accelerated growth from high energy costs. “When a country’s productive process leaves, it takes with it knowledge, high-paying jobs, and the ability to provide jobs."

The head of the CDEEE, interviewed on the Ojala program Channel 4, stressed the government’s commitment to expand and diversify the generation base to make it more efficient and burn natural gas bought at competitive prices.

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