Roberth Orihuela Q.
Gas for the southern regions was the great absence among the announcements made by President Pedro Castillo in his message to the Nation on July 28. The president limited himself to pointing out that they will promote overcrowding towards the central and southern highlands regions of the country —for Ayacucho, Cusco, Ucayali, Huancavelica, Apurímac, Puno and Junín—. But he completely forgot about Arequipa, Tacna and Moquegua, the three regions with the highest growth rate and with the highest projections for gas use.
However, there is a project for the massification of gas to the entire south of Peru that is promoted by Congress through Bill 1829, which seeks to declare the execution of the Integrated Gas Transportation System (SIT GAS) project a public necessity. . The norm is already on the agenda of the plenary session, awaiting the approval of the parliamentarians.
The analysis was made by a multi-sectoral commission that issued a report in which they analyze the possibilities that exist to spread natural gas to the southern regions. The branch from Melchorita to the south was ruled out, because it is 500 kilometers longer than bringing it from Camisea; the transfer by maritime transport due to lack of infrastructure and high freight costs; and for the same reason take it by land in tanks.
The report concludes that the best technical, social and economic option is through gas pipelines (SIT Gas). Moreover, it is proposed to start from the already built infrastructure of what was the Southern Peruvian Gas Pipeline and continue it but with more branches, which take the gas to Apurímac, Cusco, Puno, Arequipa, Moquegua and Tacna. The cost would be US$4.5 billion and not the US$7.3 billion proposed by the corrupt Odebrecht.
This, they say, would bring great benefits to the southern regions. The first would be to strengthen the country’s energy security. The study indicates that the gas pipeline to Melchorita had 68 days without supply between 2005 and 2018. With the SIT GAS there would be a second gas pipeline, which would prevent any problem. The second benefit is to guarantee the generation of cheap electricity, since the SIT GAS is projected to serve generating plants in the regions, which is called the Southern Energy Node, in Ilo and Mollendo.
The third benefit is that natural gas in the regions would benefit more than 900,000 people. Not to mention that the use of Natural Gas for Vehicles (NGV) and also gas for industrial use could be promoted, making this sector grow and generating more jobs.