Gas and the Energy Transition - A Global Challenge and Opportunity

November 27, 2017


On 16-17 November 2017, EnergyNet and the International Gas Union (IGU) hosted the first annual Latin America and Caribbean Gas Options meeting under the aegis of Panama’s National Secretariat of Energy.
The forum counted with the participation of over 150 high-level representatives of the gas industry from Latin America and the Caribbean to map the opportunities and challenges for the gasification of new areas in the region, such as infrastructure development, financing, regulation, contracts, prices and regional interconnection.
“Today we are living an exciting transition towards a more secure, sustainable and competitive energy sector. Gas is playing a key role in enabling this transition to take place as it is functional to the achievement of these three goals,” commented Talita Covre, Programme Manager at EnergyNet.

Panama has been chosen as a strategic place to host the meeting, considering its potential and the natural role as an international connector and gas hub.
The event highlighted the financial viability of gas plants compared to other power plants, as well as their flexibility to support renewables intermittency with fast generation.  In addition to its economic and operational attractiveness, Rafael Huarte, Director of the IGU pointed out that “the gas industry is clearly committed to a sustainable energy future. Gas facilitates the fastest and most economical way to a world with less carbon footprint, greater access to energy and better air quality”.
Returning from COP23 in Bonn, Luis Bertrán, Secretary General of the IGU added: “Over the next two decades, displacing coal by working together gas and renewables will be the fastest and affordable route to emission reduction aligned with Paris Agreement goals.”
Country highlights presented at the forum included:

Dr. Victor Carlos Urrutia, Energy Secretary, National Secretariat of Energy, Panama

  • LNG entry in Panama and its impact on international trade
  • The Expansion of the Panama Canal and LNG as a new growing business

Eng. Luis Alfonso Chang Navarro, Honourable Minister, Ministry of Energy and Mines, Guatemala

  • Plant entry schedule
  • Evaluation of the expansion of the Guatemalan generation system based on the growth of reference demand and the price of reference fuels

Rosanety Barrios Beltrán, Head of the Industrial Transformation Policy Unit, SENER, Mexico

  • The Energy Reform and the route map for the opening of the natural gas market
  • The interaction and coordination between authorities and the regulated market, which allowed the natural gas market to start its operation under conditions of price freedom and reserve capacity

Alexander Ramírez, Director, Regulatory Direction of Hydrocarbons and Mines, Ministry of Economy, El Salvador

  • The elaboration of 4 complementary regulations: (1) for the transport by natural gas pipelines, (2) for the distribution of natural gas by networks, (3) for the construction, operation and maintenance of service stations for vehicular natural gas and workshops for converting and enabling vehicular natural gas and (4) for land transportation (modular and ISO containers) of natural gas
  • The methodology for establishing prices, margins and tariffs related to Natural Gas and the strengthening of technical capacities

Marcelo Ferreira Alfradique, Natural Gas Deputy Superintendent, Empresa de Pesquisa Energética (EPE), Brazil

  • Gas To Grow Initiative: Market Opening Process
  • A natural gas market with diversification of agents, liquidity, competitiveness, transparency of information and best practices, which contributes to economic growth of the country

Speakers at the meeting converged on the need to develop energy and regulatory policies for gas development. In addition, it was agreed that a local business model is needed for each country and region, along with a mix of demand and political and regulatory stability that makes investment economically viable.

For more information about this meeting:
Contact: Laida Iparraguirre
Telephone: +44 (0)20 7384 7707