Economy March 24, 2015 | 7:59 am

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Dominican Republic’s north coast needs a natural gas terminal: Official

Santo Domingo.- Energy and Mines minister Pelegrin Castillo on Thursday reiterated his opposition to construction of a new terminal store and regasify natural gas in the east region, noting that AES Dominicana’s plant in Andrés, Boca Chica can supply all the fuel the plants in San Pedro can consume.

The official said AES Dominicana terminal store can 160,000 cubic meters and receive and re-gasify135 trillion BTUs per year.

Imports in 2014 however were only around 42 trillion BTU, or 60 % underutilized.

"The existing terminal has the capacity to supply enough gas for 1,000 megawatts located in San Pedro de Macoris, without any investment, except for the construction of a pipeline," the official said.

In a statement, Castillo said the cheapest and most efficient option for the government is to build a pipeline from Andrés to San Pedro, at a fraction of the cost of building a second terminal.

Project by a US company

Castillo said any future terminal should be built in another area, preferably the north, where he affirms fuel consumption is on the rise.

He stressed that to increase natural gas use as the Dominican energy base, all assets shouldn’t be concentrated in one area, and in his view the country runs a significant risk that a natural disaster cripples the supply to industry.

Castillo said a second gas terminal and new power plants could be built in Manzanillo Bay, to spur development in the north region, the border area and even Haiti, as proposed over three years ago by North Energy Central (NEC), based in California.

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