Nov. 19, 2021


Eric Flesch

Colombia

Eric Flesch

CEO, Promigas

Promigas is a long-term investor in Colombia and Peru and a strategic partner of developing energy markets.

BIO

Previous to becoming the president of Promigas, Eric Flesch held the position of president at the Argos Corporation in the US, a company that he was involved with for 39 years through various positions and in which, since 2005, played a strategic role in the expansion and growth of the organization in the US. Flesch has a degree in civil engineering from Universidad del Norte, with an MBA in finance and marketing from the West Coast University. He has also taken executive leadership courses from institutions such as Stanford, Harvard, Berkeley, and Northwester, among others.


What principles guide your business, and to what do you attribute the company's positive performance in terms of growth, revenue, and investor confidence?

I dare to state it simply: we care about people. And not just our employees and contractors, but our stakeholders in general. During the pandemic, we continued with that purpose. Promigas and Promigas Foundation donated and distributed more than 122,000 individual humanitarian food aid kits in vulnerable communities. We supported our small business providers by changing our payment policy from 30 days to 10 days and committed to planting 200,000 trees this year in 11 different regions of Colombia. In keeping with our commitment to the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDG5), we became the organization with the highest percentage of female participation (60%) on our board of directors among companies listed on Colombia's stock exchange index (COLCAP). For these and many other initiatives, we were included in the S&P Global 2021 Sustainability Yearbook, amongst the 15% of companies with the best social, environmental, economic, and governance practices, and are currently ranked among the 100 most sustainable and responsible companies in the country. In 2021, we also jumped 31 positions in Merco Talento (Colombia's Corporate Reputation Index), and we are in the top five of the industry and considered the best company to attract and retain talent in Colombia. Promigas is committed to developing renewable initiatives and creating value for all society. Our environmental commitment motivates us to operate preserving biodiversity, improving our ecoefficiency, and reducing the company's carbon footprint as we pursue our climate strategy. We also promote the transition toward low carbon business initiatives among our stakeholders. We contribute to social progress in the regions where we operate by giving special treatment to ethnic communities and implementing all measures required to guarantee respect for human rights. In 2020, our social investment was USD8.7 million. Our sustainability efforts have been recognized by prestigious local and international institutions such as the monitor of Índice de Inversión Privada, where we were selected in July 2021 as one of the 25 companies in Colombia with more social investment.

What projects and campaigns have occupied the company's focus?

In 2020, we transported 48% of Colombia's natural gas and distributed 38% of market in Colombia and 93% in Peru, gaining 244,000 new users beneficiating more than 5 million people in total. We completed the construction of our 150-Mpcd capacity Jobo-Majaguas pipeline, which is strategic for Colombia's entire Caribbean Coast and represents 30% of the region's energy needs. We are also working on expanding SPEC LNG, Colombia's only LNG terminal that allows the connection with LNG international sources and strengthens the national energy system's reliability. Our infrastructure in 2020 backed 22% of Colombia's electricity consumption, by providing 13 billion cbft of natural gas to electric power plants, since historically low rainfall brought the country's hydro-electric dams to just 32% of capacity—their lowest level in a quarter century—during the pandemic. Through our Center for Research and Innovation in Energy and Gas (CIIEG), we are focusing on developing projects to produce and gradually integrate renewable gases (biomethane, BioSNG, and green hydrogen) in our portfolio.

What role can natural gas play in Colombia's energy mix, and what is its importance in matters of diversification and energy security?

Natural gas continues to be an extremely important fuel in Colombia's energy basket, especially in the industrial and domestic sectors, where consumption remains stable. It is also used by thermal-electricity generators to meet peaks in demand. The government recently estimated offshore potential natural gas reserves in Colombia at 12.88 tera cubic feet, and both blue hydrogen and green hydrogen initiatives offer significant potential for natural gas reserves and natural gas infrastructure attached to the 115 renewable energy (wind/solar) projects currently approved by government regulators in the Caribbean, which amount to 8,740MW. The International Energy Agency's projection for global and Colombia's energy matrix still show natural gas gaining participation in 2030 and beyond.

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