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Minister Requests Resignations in Termogás Machala, Dubbed ‘Epicenter of Energy Inefficiency’

Published on April 28, 2024

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Roberto Luque visited each generation plant to assess which equipment was inoperative.

Minister Roberto Luque, head of Transportation and Public Works, who now also oversees the Energy portfolio, arrived at Termogas Machala (TM) on Saturday, April 27th, to inspect the equipment of a contract completed in 2015. This includes a steam turbine capable of generating 100 megawatts, along with three others generating 65, 65, and 77 megawatts. However, he found that “today only one is operating at 42 megawatts, supplying gas from the Amistad field.”

There is space for seven TM machines, each capable of generating 20 megawatts, but currently, only four are operational, with three of them functioning. Luque stated, “That is, we have approximately 100 megawatts in operation in a plant with the potential for 480 megawatts.” He labeled this thermal power plant as “the epicenter of energy inefficiency,” noting that “after years of potential operation, we are only at 25% capacity,” hence he reference it as ‘Termodiesel’ Machala, due to its reliance on diesel rather than gas.

Consequently, Luque requested the resignation of all those involved in Termogas Machala for further analysis: “We have learned from experience over the past ten days, since the onset of this crisis, that there are both good and bad elements.” This request was directed to all those willing to step down.

During the state of emergency, efforts will focus on bringing the seven TM machines online to generate an additional 60 megawatts, repairing the inoperative ones, and temporarily operating them with diesel. Simultaneously, work will proceed on installing the steam turbine and the 6FA3 machine, along with exploring alternative gas supply options.

Three solutions are under consideration:

  1. The most viable option, according to Luque, is to exploit the Amistad field deposit.
  2. Importing gas, re-gasifying it in the Gulf, and transporting it to Machala, while assessing associated costs.
  3. Importing gas and handling it with isotanks, a more expensive logistical approach, but one that must be considered during this emergency.

New power generation

Minister Roberto Luque announced that on Friday, an additional 20 megawatts were installed at the Álvaro Tinajero station, which had been inactive for four years.

Furthermore, work is underway at the Enrique García plant, aiming to make the 100 megawatts operational within two weeks.

Coca Codo Sinclair experienced an increase in flow but had to be halted due to sediment levels. However, the Paute and Mazar reservoirs are full due to recent rains, preventing any power outages related to the Coca Codo shutdown. It is expected to resume operations once sediment levels decrease.

Luque continues to visit plants with inactive megawatts and those lacking maintenance.


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