Good sustainable energy news from Cobija, Pando, but the government…?!

Carlos Miranda analysis for Pagina Siete:

Speaking of energy

Finally a good news, bioelectricity in Cobija

Carlos MirandaThe nationalization of electricity of La Paz and Oruro distributorships shows the strategy of the “energy Talibans” of the Government. Creating a crisis to cover another. Nationalize to put the concerns about the extortion in the justice system to the background.

A single detail. The expected success was not reached. The public is confused. It will improve the service? Doubtful. Will reach electricity to the countryside with the subsidy of the tariffs of the cities? Doubtful. What is lacking is electricity supply.

They had to improve the “taliban sauce”. USA is always used. Denounce the presence of Americans in Chacaltaya, preparing invasions in regions higher than the ones that exist in North America? Ergo Bolivia? It could have caused outrage. He failed. An Ambassador is not proposed to invade a country.

Bad start for a pre electoral year.

The energy landscape is best. A headline published abroad makes all the difference “first Bioelectric plant on the continent in Cobija, Bolivia”. I urge you to join me to learn how it is the plant of bioelectricity in Cobija.

It is not an installation in which chestnut in a boiler shell is burned to obtain steam and generate electricity. No! That’s elementary, almost primitive. The plant in Cobija, owned by the chestnut processing Tahuamani, is a modern facility that carefully prepares the particle size and moisture from chestnut shell. Including the material often is agglomerated into small bricks (briquetting). Thus preparing a shell that is introduced to a reactor heated to 1,050 °C obtaining synthesis gas, to move the generators.

Synthesis gas is monoxide (CO) carbon and hydrogen, over a small fraction of methane. The Gas to which we are accustomed is almost pure methane. The big difference is that when burning synthesis gas and hydrogen, does not generate CO2, or is not contaminated with combustion like with natural gas. Technology as well as the equipment comes from the India. The construction took two years, at a cost of over two million dollars provided by a Dutch Fund to develop non-polluting projects.

The plant consumes almost a daily ton of shell and generates 0.8 MW. All operating parameters are electronically controlled. It is the only one in the world. You need about six people for their operation and care of the transit system of the electricity generated.

The plant with all its complex and modern facilities has been duly proven and is ready to deliver power from the month of November 2012. Indian providers (from India) of the technology and equipment have been in Cobija for starting up and testing. For the first time in the history of Pando main gas was used in the Department. Test flame was lit by the Bolivian engineer Hugo del Granado, who in three years, with two lengthy visits to India, managed to perform the installations in Cobija.

But the “Bolivia of the change” remains the same. ENDE is the supplier and distributor of electricity in Cobija. For some inscrutable reason, it does not deny or accept the incorporation of electricity from the plant to the local system to the consumer use of the people of Pando. With the strength of its silence, prefers to continue consuming subsidized diesel in their generators. At present, the State through ENDE subsidizes just in Cobija with more or less Bs100 million annually. As ENDE has roughly 12,000 users, each user is being subsidized with Bs8,300/year. If the electricity from the plant would enter the public service, more or less 10% of that subsidy would be eliminated.

Unfortunately the damage is twofold. The plant is registered in Gold Standard. That organization would alleviate the financial burden of the plant with more or less 50,000 dollars per year through the granting of carbon credits. This is needed to show that the plant is dispatching its charge under this mechanism of clean energy by reducing the pollution of the environment.

Bad note is the silence of ENDE, but some time will enter into reason. The important thing is that it has the plant. Silently the Bolivian private initiative has achieved that milestone… and there are many shells of chestnut in Pando.

What is wrong with current Bolivian central government! Socialism, centralization and other demagogue ideas clout their judgment? It is the private sector who is doing an environmentally friendly energy production. Cut subsidies and allow this plant to operate NOW!!!

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