In 2016 total consumption increased by 4% compared to 2015, mainly explained by an 18% increase in consumption of 95 octane gasoline and 12% in bunker C.
Total consumption of gasoline, diesel, bunker C, liquefied petroleum gas and other fuels rose by 4% in 2016 compared to the previous year.In the case of gasoline, the highest increase was recorded in 95 octane, which increased by 18.5%, while consumption of regular gasoline or 91 octane fell by 3.6%.
The government is working on a draft bill to regulate the distribution of energy generated from natural gas in the country.
At a time when investments in power generation projects based on natural gas in Panama and in the region are increasing, the head of the Panamanian Ministry of Energy has confirmed to Laestrella.com.pa that they are preparing the basis for a regulatory framework for the distribution of energy generated from gas.
The construction of the energy generation plant using natural gas by AES Colon will be financed with a syndicated loan from the CABEI, Banistmo, Bancolombia and other banks.
Those involved in the syndicated loan are Banistmo, Bancolombia, the Central American Economic Integration Banco General and Global Bank, reports Capital.com.pa. The plant, which will have the capacity to generate up to 381 MW of energy from natural gas, was announced in 2015 by the company AES Colon, who was awarded the contract to supply 350 MW of power.
Concern over the serious impact on the productive sector of a 72% increase in gas prices has faded, while accusations of inefficiency and a monopolistic state oil company still persist.
Although the ARESEP is expecting to submit to a public hearing the new pricing methodology which would eliminate the subsidy from the cost of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), asphalt and bunkerfuel, and increase the cost of a 25 pound cylinder from ¢ 6,410 to ¢8,470, the Government of the Republic has decreed a new sector policy for prices, in order to avoid the increases proposed by the regulator.
An environmental impact study has been submitted in Panama to develop a power plant based on liquefied gas in Cristobal, province of Colon, with total power of 762 MW.
The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) submitted to the Ministry of Environment in October 2015 by Gas Natural del Atlántico S. de R.L., indicates that the development called "Proyecto Costa Norte", will be located in the province of Colon, district of Colon, department of Cristobal.
Internal problems in the larger of the two current distributors is restricting supply in the market and has forced the government to authorize the operation of other distributors.
In light of the legal dispute faced by the main gas distributors in the country, which have stopped providing the service temporarily, the Costa Rican government has announced that they are willing to authorize the operation of other distribution companies that meet the requirements established by law.
President Hernández announced that the country will join an ambitious project which for now has not transcended the good but vague intentions of the Mexican government.
From a statement issued by the presidency of Guatemala:
The president of Honduras, Juan Orlando Hernandez, announced in Guatemala City that his country will join the pipeline project, whose construction is the result of a bilateral agreement between Guatemala and Mexico.
The formulas that determine the prices of products sold by the monopoly which is the state run oil company contain factors that create subsidies for gas and asphalt consumers at the expense of gasoline and diesel consumers.
An article published in Nacion.com reports on the results of an investigation into the calculation of consumer prices of automotive fuel, which states that since August 2008 changes have been put into effect to the formulas determined by the Regulatory Authority for Public Services (ARESEP), harming "... consumers of diesel and gasoline, who pay more per liter than the asphalt companies and gas users who save millions from the lower prices."
Although it is not yet clear how it will be financed, representatives from both governments have started to work on the technical and legal details of the project.
Elperiodico.com.gt reports that "... Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) has put forward a scenario in which includes gas produced by Mexico and the gas imported from the US. The cost is estimated at around US $737 million and the execution would be carried out between 2016 and 2017. The rates, according to preliminary figures, would be around US $8.10 / MMBtu (one million BTU) between the cost of gas and its transfer to Guatemala. "
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