Local July 18, 2012 | 9:55 am

Parasites ravage the electricity sector, block investments

Santo Domingo.- Parasites still cling to a number of elements that make it impossible for the electricity sector to achieve a 24 hour-service and as collateral damage have spurred a halt to investments on generation.

The concern voiced yesterday at the International Congress on the country’s electricity sector’s future, hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce’s (AMCHAMDR) Energy Committee, also listed several points which have prevented its development, such as the current "unmanageable" thefts.

"We can ensure that government intervention, the non-implementation of the technical fee, electricity fraud and late delivery of subsidies to the electricity distributors have halted investments in power generation. What’s more, the distributors weren’t allowed to pass the increase in fuels since 2001," said Dominican Electricity Industry Association (ADIE) president Tito Sanjurjo.

"The distributors’ current debt with electricity generators reach nearly US$900 million," Sanjurjo said, and suggested lowering the monthly subsidy to people from 700 to 100 kilowatts, institutionalize the National Energy Commission and Electricity Superintendence, eliminate political influence on technical decisions, allocate funds to control fraud, improve the grids and re-privatize utility assets.

National Energy Commission (CNE) president Henry Ramirez, Dominican Hydroelectric Generating Company (EGEHID) director Victor Ventura and AES Dominicana commercial vice president Juan Ignacio Rubiolo also spoke in the forum.

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