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Minister of Energy Advocates for Legislation Empowering Private Companies in Electrical Supply Sector

Published on May 08, 2024

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The government of Ecuador, under the leadership of Minister Roberto Luque, is embarking on a comprehensive set of reforms aimed at revitalizing and expanding private electricity generation within the country.

Energy Minister Roberto Luque’s recent pronouncements shed light on the pressing need for these reforms, driven by identified overcharges in maintenance contracts governing the nation’s intricate electrical network.

During a recent address on May 7, 2024, Minister Luque underscored the pivotal role private sector participation could play in Ecuador’s energy landscape. Currently, private companies contribute a mere 1% of the total electricity generated in the country, a figure Luque deems inadequate given Ecuador’s ambitious energy goals and the burgeoning demand for electricity.

In response to this shortfall, Luque articulated a vision for regulatory frameworks that would incentivize private enterprises to not only generate electricity but also explore avenues for selling surplus energy to the state. He emphasized the necessity of robust regulations to govern such transactions, lamenting the absence of such mechanisms in the current legislative landscape.

Colombia energy supply remains costly

The urgency of these reforms is further compounded by Ecuador’s ongoing energy crisis, characterized by the procurement of expensive energy imports from neighboring Colombia. Minister Luque, in no uncertain terms, asserted that domestic private entities could offer more competitive pricing if afforded the opportunity to invest in the country’s energy infrastructure.

To catalyze these changes, the government is actively crafting regulations aimed at fostering strategic partnerships between public entities such as CNEL and Celec and private sector players. Furthermore, plans are underway to expedite the presentation of project profiles within a week to attract potential investors eager to contribute to Ecuador’s electrification efforts.

In addition to addressing the challenges in private electricity generation, Minister Luque has also turned his attention to inefficiencies within the state-run electrical network maintenance contracts. He raised concerns about possible overcharges and non-compliance with maintenance plans, signaling a pressing need for systemic reforms in this domain.

These pronouncements come on the heels of Minister Luque’s visit to the Paute-Mazar hydroelectric complex, where he, alongside President Daniel Noboa, gleaned insights into the intricacies of Ecuador’s energy infrastructure. The visit culminated in a sectoral Cabinet meeting, underscoring the government’s commitment to addressing the pressing challenges facing the energy sector.

Minister says efforts are paying off

Furthermore, Minister Luque’s recent excursion to the Mazar Hydroelectric Power Plant provided an opportunity to assess the impact of favorable weather conditions on reservoir levels—a critical determinant of Ecuador’s energy output. Luque’s optimistic assessment of reservoir recovery, coupled with strategic discussions on maintenance strategies for key hydroelectric plants, signals a proactive approach to mitigating the effects of the ongoing energy crisis.

In light of these developments, the government has temporarily suspended power cuts until May 12th, citing improved flow conditions feeding major hydroelectric plants. This respite provides a window of opportunity for stakeholders to collaborate on long-term solutions to Ecuador’s energy challenges, reaffirming the government’s commitment to ensuring a stable and sustainable energy future for all Ecuadorians.


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