Peru government-sponsored “My Taxi” natural gas program has led to savings of over $414 million in costly diesel and liquefied petroleum gas

The government-sponsored “My Taxi” program designed to help drivers convert their engines to natural gas has led to savings of more than 1.16 billion soles, or approximately $414 million, due to reduced imports of costly diesel and liquefied petroleum gas, Peru President Alan García said Tuesday.

“We are preparing to make the use of natural gas, which is a natural resource given to us by God, more widespread,” said García. “This will allow us to confront the increasing international prices of oil.”

The program, launched a year ago, is part of Peru’s strategy to convert on a wide scale to low-cost natural gas, a fossil fuel abundant in the Andean country, in order to reduce the current hydrocarbon deficit and the country’s dependence on costly diesel and liquefied petroleum gas imports.

My Taxi has surpassed expectations, García said , because 45,509 drivers have already converted their engines in just over 32 months, and we had hoped to accomplish as much in 120 months.

The My Taxi program now has a set goal of converting 250,000 taxis in Lima and Callao to natural gas, argued Alvaro Chirinos, the program’s director.

In Lima, at least 80 percent of drivers rent vehicles that run on highly polluting diesel and pay between 40 and 50 soles, or approximately $14 and $18 for a day’s run.

Peru’s government, who cut down on fuel subsidies June 2, has also fixed the cost of compressed natural gas, or methane, at a ceiling price of 4.30 soles, or about $1.50 per gallon, compared to about $4.55 per gallon for 90 octane gasoline.

“Lima is probably Latin America’s most polluted city and the (natural) gas is reconverting and reforming the (transport) system,” added Chirinos, “allowing many people to become proprietors and many people to decontaminate the metropolitan city.”

Drivers of natural gas-powered vehicles can fuel up at 34 stations located in various parts of the capital. And there are now more than 110 engine conversion and repair shops licensed by the Ministry of Transport and Communications.

The My Taxi program, now only available in Lima, should soon make its way to outside regions, as natural gas is to be distributed in Arequipa, Trujillo and Piura.

“These cities will also have the possibility of benefiting from this system,” said García in comments to state news agency Andina, “which is very important for (Peru’s) energy matrix conversion.”

“Broad access to natural gas will allow our industries and all the productive activity to develop according to adequate costs,” added García, “and, most importantly, via a product that, to be extracted and processed, also generates more jobs within the country.”

Peru hopes to modify its energy grid by 2011 to a three-part mixture of natural gas, renewable energy and oil. In the long-term, Peru plans to rely on a broad mix of renewable energy sources and has set 2020 as a target date.

Other measures include a “scrap dealer’s bonus” to drivers who rid Peru’s streets of their more than decade-old diesel cars and the Ministry of Transport and Communications’ proposal to reduce tariffs and the selective tax on consumption, or ISC, on the import of natural gas vehicles to Peru.

Sharing is caring!

Comments are closed.