The Business Year

Julián Santana Araujo

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC - Energy & Mining

Boosting Energy

General Administrator, ETED

Bio

Julián Santana Araujo holds a mechanical engineering degree from Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo (UASD) and a post-engineering degree in power system engineering from the General Electric Research Center in Schenectady, New York. From 1974 to 2006, he was a professor of engineering at the faculty of engineering and architecture of the Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo and from 1976 to 1990, professor of engineering at the school of engineering of Universidad APEC. Since 1974, he has been a member of the Dominican College of Engineers, Architects, and Surveyors (Colegio Dominicano de Ingenieros y Arquitectos (CODIA) and is an active member of the IEEE.

TBY talks to Julián Santana Araujo, General Administrator of ETED, on the company's achievements, planning for expansion, and future opportunities in the sector.

What are the reasons behind the company’s success, and what are your expectations for 2017?

We always begin from our strategic plan. We basically focus on two fundamental aspects of the plan: investments and securing our existing assets. We also cover our backs through the appropriate maintenance programs, as the company is the one responsible for the systems that it manages for supplying the energy distribution centrals. We are the key to a smooth flow between energy producers, suppliers, and consumers. Thus, we face the great responsibility of sustaining the interconnected national energy system in real time. For that purpose, we have an Energy Control Center from which we carry out our various functions under the program of our Sistema Eléctrico Nacional Interconectado (OC-SENI). It is important that we program for the short, medium, and long term according to the most important investments so that the program works according to the needs of our clients. In our case, customers fall into the category of generators, distributors, and unregulated users. We always pursue a strategic goal to serve citizens by providing them with quality energy under the international standards established by the Superintendency of Electricity and stipulated under the General Energy Law 12-01. Citizens are our main focus. For this reason, our company must be organized under the best standards for our contribution to the development of our nation.

How would you evaluate the progress made by different distributors like EDESUR, EDENORTE, and EDEESTE?

Our expansion plan must take into account the increased demand from distributors. Each party, including the National Energy Commission, periodically conducts a separate study. In addition, when we establish an investment plan in projects that drive the development of the electricity sector, it must be subject to scrutiny by regulators and customers. Once we incorporate their observations, we create an expansion plan, similar to the one for 2013-2020. These plans contain the needs of our investments to serve both generators and distributors in relation to the demand for the product.

How much of ETED’S reinvestment is used in security and post-natural disaster relief?

Approximately 20% of our budget goes to the maintenance area. Fortunately, we have not been affected by any natural disasters in recent times. The last time we faced such a disaster, we dealt with the infrastructural damage with our own resources and through the means of financing, so we received a USD11 million loan from the World Bank to rebuild the affected networks in the southern region of country. We count on investment projects with the European Investment Bank (EIB) for transmission networks and substations in the south region. The senate recently approved a financing agreement with KFW, a German development bank known for its presence in the energy sector, for a loan of EUR17.7 million for the construction of a major substation of about 400MVA, 345/138kV in San Antonio de Guerra, Santo Domingo province.

What are the main challenges that the sector is facing today, and what opportunities do you predict in the coming years?

The problems with the electric power sector go back many years, because for many reasons the different governments have not dealt with the issues with the correct vision. However, the innumerable advances made in all aspects are undeniable. Many years ago, when I was in college, I had to use gas lamps and candles. Today this situation has changed and the energy service covers about 85% of the demand. The other part of the plan is that the clients receive the energy of the highest possible quality in sufficient quantities. Therefore, we must have access to a national transmission network adequate to the national development needs of the generators’ investments and according to the growth of the demand that the distribution companies have the responsibility to satisfy.

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