Friday, June 25, 2004

DR: In the dark

...Superintendent of Electricity George Reinoso ... [explains] the current energy catastrophe that has plunged the country into a situation previously unseen.

Participating at the Corripio Gruop Monthly Luncheon, Reinoso touched on several topics related to the crisis: private ownership of the generation and the distribution of energy; high oil prices causing serious problems; lack of short-term solution to the crisis; the real demand for energy is unknown; and the differences between Ede-Este and the government.

Talking with Manuel Corripio and Miguel Angel Velasquez Mainardi, the electricity official said he was in favor of handing the distribution and production of electricity to the private sector, with the government maintaining the transmission lines and hydroelectric generators.

Reinoso also said he would choose a scenario whereby the government serves as a regulator and policy maker, and the private sector handles the production and distribution of the energy. He pointed out that the distributors are working hard to eliminate fraud, but the blackouts hinder their work. He voiced his displeasure with the fact that EDE-Norte had 100 people on a VIP list who were not charged for the energy they consumed.

Referring to the price of fuels, the Superintendent of Electricity said that the recent price increases to the cost of a barrel of petroleum have made the situation unbearable for the Dominican Republic, and most of Latin America as well. With only 10% of the local energy produced in the hydroelectric system, the DR is heavily dependant on oil for its electric generation.

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