Local October 30, 2014 | 10:25 am

Want more investment, enforce the law: Dominican power plants warn

Santo Domingo.- Dominican Republic’s energy sector has lagged behind in private investment, "because of the State’s failure to comply with, and enforce the law," warned Dominican Electricity Industry Association (Adie) president Marcos Cochón Wednesday

Among the alleged violations of the law the business leader cited the State-owned distribution companies (Edes) have made just ??two call for tenders to buy energy since 1999: in 2001, which resulted in the arrival of the AES Dominicana power plant, and in 2011, "which unfortunately was aborted very close to completion."

He noted that although the Electricity Superintendence is the agency charged with enforcing the legal mandates, "it hasn’t been able to take it forward, despite the fact it has tried."

In the past 15 years since the electricity sector companies were capitalized, "we in the private sector have invested over 2.5 billion dollars to build new plants and restructured other improvements to management infrastructure," said Cochón, who’s been CEO of the Puerto Plata Electric Company since 2002,

Speaking in the American Chamber of Commerce’s monthly luncheon, Cochon said the investments have made the generation base less dependent on oil and asks: "How can the private sector be asked to invest in new generation if there’re no calls for tenders?"

Ready to invest

Among the companies which in recent years have announced a readiness to provide natural gas-fired power plants figure North Energy Central (NEC), and Cheney Corp., both based in the U.S.

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