The time has come for renewable energy.
InterEnergy Group, the leading electricity generator for the Dominican tourism sector, headed by Rolando González Bunster, focuses its growth on clean energy.
English extract from: Mejía, Felibia. “Llegó el momento de las energías renovables.” Forbes Centroamérica, Jul. 2020.
InterEnergy Group, which supplies electricity to more than 65% of the tourist sector in the Dominican Republic, accelerates its shift towards clean energy production.
Furthermore, they are committing to the electric mobility business, with a plan to install the largest network of charging stations in the country (500 by 2021) and extend this initiative to Central America.
This plan also includes the acquisition of electric vehicles for the tourist industry.
InterEnergy Group, which recorded sales of $ 700 million in 2019, can generate around 400 MW of wind and solar energy and 500 MW using natural gas.
At this complicated time, Rolando González-Bunster outlines the plan that will allow him to pass the pothole. The new coronavirus subjected various sectors of the national economy, including main tourism clients.
“We intend to eventually leave behind the plants where we generate with fuel oil,” says González Bunster, whose companies specialize in the generation and commercialization of energy and operate in the Dominican Republic, Panama, Chile, and Jamaica.
So far, half of the group’s sales originate from the Dominican Republic. However, they seek to expand their business to other Latin American markets, such as Uruguay, where they evaluate the feasibility of developing a wind project and opportunities to acquire companies in Argentina.
He also ensures that it’s under analysis the purchase of two small hydroelectric plants in Panama, a wind farm in Mexico, a solar park, and other wind farms in El Salvador and Panama.
InterEnergy Group has invested in the Dominican Republic alone around $ 1 billion in the operation of Consorcio Energético Punta Cana-Macao (CEPM), in the Compañía de Electricidad de San Pedro De Macorís (CESPM), and other firms linked to the electricity sector.
At the end of last year, the group took an important step when it began the conversion of CESPM, from diesel to natural gas, due to the construction of a 50-kilometer gas pipeline. In this project, InterEnergy Group is associated in equal parts with AES Dominicana, through its shareholding in Energía Natural Dominicana (Enadom), along with other local investors.
With these partners, the group has begun the construction of a second storage tank for liquefied natural gas of 120,000 cubic meters of capacity, with the mission of turning the country into the main energy distribution center in the Caribbean and distributing this product to islands such as Granada, Barbados, Grand Cayman, Haiti, Jamaica, among others.
Besides, Enadom recently completed the first interconnection section of two plants that generate 450 MW, complying with the natural gas conversion scheduled for these generation plants. “The future of our business is in clean energy. I think that is where the world is going,” said the businessman.
InterEnergy Group ventures into electric mobility
InterEnergy Systems Dominicana is the unit from which InterEnergy executes the Evergo fast-charging station project, intending to install 500 electric charging stations by December 2021, with a projection of extending its reach to Central America, beginning with Panama, and later throughout Latin America.
Other business options that managers at InterEnergy have valued are bringing electric power by submarine cable to Puerto Rico, which is approximately 190 kilometers from the Dominican Republic.
Regarding the sanitary crisis, Bunster is optimistic. “I think there is going to be a recovery. It will require much effort, but it is going to exist,” he points out.
A sign of the company’s satisfactory progress is that they have just finished a power line that will take power to the tourist area of Miches (100 kilometers from Punta Cana), where there are investments by the Four Seasons and Club Med firms, among others.
Referring to the near future, González Bunster says: “The impact [of the Covid-19] will be quite significant, but I believe it will be very temporary. Our company is robust, and it will endure this problem well. We have tried under all circumstances to maintain employment: we haven’t fired people because for us changing someone’s life has a very negative effect, while this may be a temporary problem”.