Past Events

2nd Annual Forum on Prospects for LNG and Natural Gas in Central America

ABOUT THE EVENT

October 2, 2013
San José, Costa Rica - Real InterContinental Hotel

Agenda/Participant List | Contact


In recent years, the so-called “golden era” of natural gas has sent ripples across the energy world. More importantly, the dramatic rise in natural gas and unconventional development offers significant opportunities for Central America. These monumental changes on both the supply and demand side merit discussion across the Isthmus. Natural gas has the potential to reduce the region’s dependence on oil imports – which cost Central America over $13 billion 2011 – while also providing a cleaner source of electric generation than diesel and bunker fuels. Finding the most appropriate role and framework for natural gas and liquefied natural gas (LNG) development for the region’s electric generation, transport and industrial sectors is critical for government policy makers and the private sector alike.

This one-day policy forum will assess the implications and outlook for natural gas’ potential in Central America in terms of energy security, economic development, and the role of natural gas as a cleaner fuel source for the region’s energy matrix. Panel discussions will also consider how natural gas and LNG fit into the broader energy integration efforts in the region and can support firm power needs and complement renewable energy deployment.

CONFIRMED SPEAKERS

Ada Georgina Barrientos de Flores, Director, Electric Market, National Energy Council, El Salvador

Raúl Carral, General Manager, Power Plants Sales, Central America, Wärtsilä North America, Inc

René Castro, Minister of Environment and Energy of Costa Rica

Eduardo Cuevas, Country Head for Guatemala and El Salvador, International Finance Corporation (IFC)

Teófilo de la Torre, President, Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE)

Roberto Dobles, Director, Clean Fuels & Energy Las Americas (C-FELA) and former Minister of Environment, Energy and Telecommunications of Costa Rica

Ignasi Nieto-Magaldi, Country Department of Belize, Central America, Mexico, Panama and Dominican Republic, Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)

Vicente Prescott, Secretary of Energy of Panama

Evanan Romero, President, OTS LatinAmerica LLC

Gustavo Schettini, CEO, Energy Consulting Services, S.A.

Juan Manuel Urriola, former Secretary of Energy of Panama

Ariel Yepez, Senior Energy Economist, Sustainable Development Department Latin America and the Caribbean, World Bank

 

SPONSORS

CAF Wartsila

EN ESPAÑOL

Octubre 2, 2013

2o Foro Anual sobre los Prospectos para el GNL y el Gas Natural en Centroamérica

Octubre 2 de 2013
San José, Costa Rica – Hotel Real InterContinental

Agenda/Lista de Participantes | Contacto

En los últimos años, la llamada "edad de oro" del gas natural ha tenido el efecto dominó a través del mundo de la energía. Más importante aún, el dramático aumento en el gas natural y en el desarrollo de los recursos no convencionales, ofrece grandes oportunidades para Centroamérica. Estos cambios monumentales en la oferta y demanda ameritan un análisis a lo largo del istmo. El gas natural tiene el potencial de reducir la dependencia de la región de las importaciones de petróleo - que costó a América Central más de $13 mil millones de dólares en el 2011 - mientras que a la vez proporciona una fuente de generación eléctrica más limpia que el diesel y el combustóleo. Establecer cuál es el rol y el marco más apropiados para el desarrollo del gas natural y el gas natural licuado (GNL) para los sectores de generación eléctrica, transporte y el industrial en la región, es fundamental tanto para las autoridades gubernamentales como para el sector privado.

Este foro de un día evaluará las implicaciones y perspectivas del potencial del gas natural en América Central en términos de seguridad energética, desarrollo económico y el papel del gas natural como fuente de energía limpia para la matriz energética de la región. Los paneles también discutirán cómo el gas natural y GNL encajan en los esfuerzos más amplios de integración energética de la región y pueden satisfacer firmemente las necesidades de energía y complementar el despliegue de la energía renovable.


PONENTES CONFIRMADOS

Ada Georgina Barrientos de Flores, Directora de Mercado Eléctrico, Consejo Nacional de Energía de El Salvador

Raúl Carral, Gerente General, Ventas de Plantas Eléctricas, Américas Central, Wärtsilä North America, Inc.

René Castro, Ministro de Medioambiente y Energía de Costa Rica

Eduardo Cuevas, Gerente País para Guatemala y El Salvador, International Finance Corporation (IFC)

Teófilo de la Torre, Presidente, Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE)

Roberto Dobles, Director, Clean Fuels & Energy Las Americas (C-FELA) y exMinistro de Ambiente, Energía y Telecomunicaciones de Costa Rica

Ignasi Nieto-Magaldi, Departamento de Países de Centroamérica, México, Panamá y República Dominicana, Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo (BID)

Vicente Prescott, Secretario de Energía de Panamá

Evanan Romero, Presidente, OTS LatinAmerica LLC

Gustavo Schettini, CEO, Energy Consulting Services, S.A.

Juan Manuel Urriola, exSecretario de Energía de Panamá

Ariel Yepez, Economista Senior en Energía, Departamento de Desarrollo Sostenible América Latina y el Caribe, Banco Mundial

PATROCINADORES

CAF Wartsila

HIGHLIGHTS

 

Panama’s Secretary of Energy, Vicente Prescott, and Costa Rica’s Minister of Environment and Energy, Rene Castro, respond to questions during the opening session of the Institute of the Americas’ 2nd Annual Forum on the Prospects for LNG and Natural Gas in Central America October 2 in San Jose, Costa Rica. Panama’s Secretary of Energy, Vicente Prescott, and Costa Rica’s Minister of Environment and Energy, Rene Castro, respond to questions during the opening session of the Institute of the Americas’ 2nd Annual Forum on the Prospects for LNG and Natural Gas in Central America October 2 in San Jose, Costa Rica.

SAN JOSE, COSTA RICA -- Natural gas’s time is near in Central America, and the cleaner burning fuel will be a driver of energy sector diversification with important economic and environmental upsides echoed a succession of speakers at the Institute of the Americas’ 2nd Annual Forum on the Prospects for LNG and Natural Gas in Central America.

But also clear is that the region must pursue appropriate solutions given its market size. Or as one speaker summed it up: “small markets require small solutions.”

The good news is that several solutions exist. From examples in Norway, Southeast Asia and closer to home in the Dominican Republic, a variety of small scale and hub-and-spoke concepts offer the capacity for landing natural gas in the region.

Indeed, with a strong anchor in the region’s booming power market and the benefits of breaking the financially and environmentally debilitating dependency on imported petroleum products, natural gas has Central America poised to diversify its dual energy matrix of hydropower and petroleum derived products.

Take Costa Rica, long one of the region’s if not the world’s most important proponents of renewable energy and “green development;” the country has a formal policy goal of carbon neutrality by 2021.

Due to the complexity of developing sufficient renewable resources, particularly large scale hydropower, state power company ICE has focused on natural gas as its “Plan B” for meeting the nation’s roughly 4% annual power demand growth and emission reduction targets of 6 million tons of CO2.

Costa Rica’s minister of energy and the president of ICE concurred that it is difficult to see the country meeting its carbon reduction targets and long-term power supply without natural gas.

Panama and El Salvador also underscore the urgency and desire of the region’s energy policy makers to seize the natural gas opportunity for their countries.

In Panama, policymakers have focused the first stage of natural gas use in the country’s power sector. Panama has advanced with plans to develop the nation’s first natural gas import project through a liquefied natural gas terminal located at Telfers Island. The project, auctioned in early 2013 and awarded to Empresa Panama NG Power, SA, counts a 400MW power plant set to initiate in 2017.

In El Salvador, a just-concluded power supply auction of 350MW organized by the government together with electric distribution companies actively pursued natural gas-fired power as part of the auction process and directly excluded bidders from submitting fuel oil or diesel projects.

Central America does not yet count any natural gas production. A lack of domestic resources means that the region will have to turn to the global marketplace in order to satisfy its desire to avail itself of natural gas’s upsides. The need to import natural gas most likely means LNG and supplies one day from Trinidad & Tobago, the next Peru, and the day after Colombia, North America or any of the 18 LNG exporting countries across the globe.

Not dissimilar from the potential of diversifying its energy matrix, many analyses favor the diversity of supply that LNG offers, with examples of Chile and Spain important to consider as Central America moves forward with the imminent inclusion of natural gas in its energy matrix.

SPEAKER INTERVIEWS


Raúl Carral, Business Development Mexico, Central America & Caribbean, Wärtsilä
By Alexis Arthur

On October 2, the Institute of the Americas hosted the 2nd Annual Forum on Prospects for LNG and Natural Gas in Central America. On the sidelines, Energy Program Director Jeremy Martin and Energy Policy Associate Alexis Arthur spoke to presenters about some of the salient issues to emerge from the discussions (in Spanish).



 

René Castro, Minister of Environment and Energy, Costa Rica
By Jeremy Martin

On October 2, the Institute of the Americas hosted the 2nd Annual Forum on Prospects for LNG and Natural Gas in Central America. On the sidelines, Energy Program Director Jeremy Martin and Energy Policy Associate Alexis Arthur spoke to presenters about some of the salient issues to emerge from the discussions (in Spanish).



 

Ignasi Nieto-Magaldi, Advisor, Inter-American Development Bank
By Alexis Arthur

On October 2, the Institute of the Americas hosted the 2nd Annual Forum on Prospects for LNG and Natural Gas in Central America. On the sidelines, Energy Program Director Jeremy Martin and Energy Policy Associate Alexis Arthur spoke to presenters about some of the salient issues to emerge from the discussions (in Spanish).



Vicente Prescott, Secretary of Energy, Panama
By Jeremy Martin

On October 2, the Institute of the Americas hosted the 2nd Annual Forum on Prospects for LNG and Natural Gas in Central America. On the sidelines, Energy Program Director Jeremy Martin and Energy Policy Associate Alexis Arthur spoke to presenters about some of the salient issues to emerge from the discussions (in Spanish).



 

Gustavo Schettini, CEO, Energy Consulting Services
By Alexis Arthur

On October 2, the Institute of the Americas hosted the 2nd Annual Forum on Prospects for LNG and Natural Gas in Central America. On the sidelines, Energy Program Director Jeremy Martin and Energy Policy Associate Alexis Arthur spoke to presenters about some of the salient issues to emerge from the discussions (in Spanish).



 

Ariel Yepez, Senior Energy Economist, World Bank
By Alexis Arthur

On October 2, the Institute of the Americas hosted the 2nd Annual Forum on Prospects for LNG and Natural Gas in Central America. On the sidelines, Energy Program Director Jeremy Martin and Energy Policy Associate Alexis Arthur spoke to presenters about some of the salient issues to emerge from the discussions (in Spanish).


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