They restrict gas to industries: they seek to ensure that there is no shortage in thermal power plants to avoid power outages

They restrict gas to industries: they seek to ensure that there is no shortage in thermal power plants to avoid power outages
They restrict gas to industries: they seek to ensure that there is no shortage in thermal power plants to avoid power outages

With the entry of a new cold front, and when at least a week of days with winter records are expected, the Government and energy companies are looking for alternatives to avoid a lack of gas and electricity supply at a time when fluid consumption is shot and supply is restricted. In this way, industries must lower consumption to the technical minimum.

As reported TN, the energy system is in the pre-emergency stage, which consists of permanent monitoring with supply cuts for users with interruptible contracts, such as those with some industries and CNG stations. The snowfall that was recorded on Thursday night in the mountain area, in Córdoba and San Luis, and the low temperatures predicted for the coming days reinforced the alerts in official offices and in transport and distribution companies throughout the country.

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The analysis that energy sector firms carried out at a meeting this Friday comes at a time when, despite the recession, Residential gas consumption doubled compared to May 2023 and when LNG imported by ship is still not available to reinforce the national supply.

Nor did the ships with liquid fuels (fuel oil and diesel) that Cammesa went out to buy this week so that the electric generators replace gas used in its processes and allow greater supply in what are expected to be peaks in demand.

The polar wave will leave very cold days starting this weekend. (Photo: courtesy of El Doce)By:

Initially, service was cut to those interruptible contracts and they will remain that way until the cold wave passes. Now, due to the evolution of demand, they advanced to the next step: that industries with firm contract minimize their consumption so that there are no gas shortages in homes or power outages.

The reasons why there is a gas shortage

This May is having lower temperatures than normal for autumn, but the bottleneck was generated, as TN reported, because The works on the compressor plants of the Vaca Muerta gas pipeline have not been completed.

The completion of these tasks, in Neuquén and in the province of Buenos Aires, was delayed due to the change of government and only a few weeks ago began to accelerate. It is expected that in the short term can inject another 5 million cubic meters into the system to the 11 million m3 available today. In the sector they say that if the Otrayén, Salliqueló and Mercedes plants had been completed within the original deadlines, Vaca Muerta would already be injecting at least 22 million m3 daily.

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To complete the lack of gas, there are purchases of LNG abroad, which are regasified at the Escobar terminal (until 2023 there was another ship in Bahía Blanca). The state firm Enarsa has already put out to tender 20 ships (half of those purchased last year) for a total of 1 million m3. Most have mooring dates between the beginning of June and the end of August.

The statement from the Ministry of Energy

“The National Government adopted the temporary application of supply interruption of some CNG stations, provided for in the contracts signed under that modality. To this end, ENARGAS has instructed licensees and transporters to follow the protocol that requires cutting or restricting interruptible supplies to maintain the necessary pressures in the system,” the text states.

Likewise, “the Administrative Company of the Wholesale Electricity Market (Cammesa), a large buyer of gas, will be required to make use of gas transportation in the interruptible mode only up to the necessary technical minimum to sustain the electrical system, using alternative fuels to sustain electrical demand. In addition, a greater volume of LNG will be acquired.”

“The measures implemented are carried out within the framework of the vulnerability of the gas system derived from its insufficient infrastructure for decades due to lack of investment (which generates bottlenecks in the gas flow), according to Decree 55/23 on energy emergency; the reduction of supply from Bolivia, based on agreements of the previous administration and added to an exceptionally high consumption of the priority demand (residential users) of natural gas (from 45 MM3/day to 70 MM3/day)”, the statement concludes. .

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