Hernan Dionisio Vega, Executive Director of the Implementing Entity for Natural Gas Vehicles Conversion (EEC-GNV) of Bolivia, announced that this year will be converted 44.610 vehicles. Currently, to carry out this project, the entity in charge of this program receives Bs 7 million (USD 1 million) each month. In 2011, 13.500 were converted to natural gas.
What is the status of the program of conversion to natural gas vehicles in the country?
The Implementing Entity for Natural Gas Vehicles Conversion was created in October 2010 and began operating in March 2011. To date, we have one year of work and the goal for this administration is to achieve 34.080 conversions to CNG in public transport sector, and besides that we aim to make 10.530 conversions in state vehicles, which will start from next May.
What are the vehicles of the state sector?
There is a premise of the head of state that we must lead by example and if there is a need to change the energy mix in the public sector also must be performed in units that serve the state, ie, all vehicles are in the ministries, decentralized and autarkic institutions as the Customs, Taxes, SENASAG, ABC, Vías Bolivia, YPFB, police, armed forces, among others.
For it, we have been developing a work program which indicates that until August these 10.530 vehicles should run on natural gas and we are already working on this in Sucre and El Alto.
What were the efforts made during 2011?
During this period, progress was made in organizing the company, able to convert about 13.500 CNG vehicles in the public sector.
What budget do you have to carry out this project?
The entity was created with a fund of Bs 1.66 which cost the cubic meter of CNG in Bolivia. Of that amount, Bs 0.20 goes to the institution, Bs 0.18 goes to the conversion program and the remaining two cents goes to the fund for requalification and conversion applied to vehicles that have between five and 15 years old, and need their cylinders are requalified.
And what is the amount of the fund?
Each month we receive from YPFB up to Bs 7 million (USD 1 million), but the amount tends to increase because a greater number of CNG vehicles generates more revenue.
Last year there were some problems with CNG equipment, they did not respond to the characteristics of domestic vehicles. What is being done?
It is true we had some problems and to prevent the recurrence we are conducting various meeting with carriers and companies that offer their services for conversion to CNG. There are technical meetings in which relevant stakeholders (workshops and drivers) are able to get information and to choose the best provider.
Is there a cost to the applicant?
It is free. The state is responsible for the purchase of equipment for conversion, cylinder and paid labor. The work is guaranteed for one year.
Why is it that this conversion program progress too slow?
The conversion is slow due to lack of information. I believe this is one of the weaknesses of this program. We need to generate more information for people to value the use of CNG. That has to improve if we want to achieve our goals.
What are the priorities for 2012?
Well, the challenge is great, because we want to convert about 44.610 vehicles between state and public service, and so we must work in a better way to spread the program.
How many of these vehicles belong to Santa Cruz?
In the center are to convert some 21.000 units, the rest is divided between Oruro, Potosi, Sucre, all but Tarija because it has a project supported by its own Government, which is giving good results and should be noted. Beni and Pando plan is not valid because there is no pipeline to transport natural gas.
By Juan Carlos Salinas Cortez
April 22, 2012