Some of the companies involved are AES Dominicana, who started operating an LNG import and storage terminal in 2003 with a capacity to store 160,000 meters cubic and with investments exceeding U$S 450 million. In 2007 the firm Linea Clave Internacional invested U$S 7 million in the first natural gas compression and distribution plant of the country. Plaza Lama Group -through the creation of the company Soluciones en Gas Natural (SGN)- has also opened a compression, distribution and retailing plant in Punta Caucedo, at the beginning of 2010.
Nowadays, there are many positive prospects about the future of the industry. “By 2011 there will be 149,000 NGVs in the Dominican streets,” Linea Clave executives assured, as local news website “Hoy” reported. For his part, president of the country Leonel Fernandez has recently declared by decree the use of natural gas as a national interest affair.
Regarding CNG supplying, as a future possible scenario, Linea Clave aims to supply 49,000 CNG-powered vehicles with 49 stations and 25 workshops in a first period of time. They expect to install 19 dispensing points in Santo Domingo and the others in the south, north and east regions of Dominican Republic. On the other hand, SGN is already operating a refuelling facility at Máximo Gómez Ave and others in different districts of Santo Domingo are planned to be installed by the end of the year. The long-term forecasts include the inauguration of 60 facilities.
Currently, SGN operates two workshops –Pimax and Va-Ga Tecnologia- and by the end of the year will be opening 4 more. These facilities must be certified by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and by the Environment department. Each technician, including the workshop owner, must also have an Infotep (National Institute for Professional and Technical Education) certification.
The conversion kits are being imported from Argentina and Italy, while the cylinders are Brazilian. The price for the kit installation currently ranges from U$S 1,000 to 3,000. However, drivers will save 54 per cent compared to regular gasoline use and 34 per cent compared to propane gas. If gasoline consumption cost RD$ 10,000 per month, with the CNG system they will spend only RD $ 4,000.