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Marcelo Aicardi

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC - Energy & Mining

Energetic Strides

General Manager, EGE Haina

Bio

Marcelo Aicardi has 16 years experience in the electrical industry in Argentina and the Dominican Republic. He has been General Manager of EGE Haina since July 2013, having previously held the title of CFO. In his 12 years in the Dominican Republic, Aicardi has held senior positions in distribution and generation companies, taking part in unique industry milestones such as the construction of the Quisqueya generation complex, Los Cocos wind farm, AES Andres plant and LNG terminal, and the natural gas conversion of Dominican Power Partners. He has headed the launch of the first international corporate bonds in the Dominican electricity industry and issued over $1 billion in corporate debt for electricity projects in the country.

The Superintendency of Securities has recently approved EGE Haina’s initial public offering, and its outstanding corporate bonds amount to $140 million. What investments are being funded at this time? EGE […]

The Superintendency of Securities has recently approved EGE Haina’s initial public offering, and its outstanding corporate bonds amount to $140 million. What investments are being funded at this time?

EGE Haina is currently the largest private issuer in the Dominican capital markets. Over the course of its lifetime, it has structured $280 million in local bonds, including a new $100 million bond that has recently received approval from the local Securities Exchange Commission (Superintendencia de Valores, SIV). EGE Haina is currently developing a new 50MW wind project next to the existing Los Cocos windfarm, called Larimar. The new wind farm will be composed of 15 state-of-the art Vestas V112 wind generators, each with a 3.3MW capacity. This project is expected to be fully operational by 1Q2016. In addition, we are in the process of building a 1.5 MW solar photovoltaic plant in San Pedro de Macorí­s to be completed in 3Q2015.

What have been the highlights of EGE Haina’s performance in 2014?

EGE Haina has had an excellent year by all metrics. With the recent addition of Los Cocos 2 (January 2013) and Quisqueya 2 (December 2013), our energy generation has increased from 1,687 GWh in the first 10 months of 2013 to 2,671 GW in the same period of 2014, on a 58% increase. Year to date we have posted a record generation of 2,953 GWh, which allows us to provide one-fifth of the KWh consumption of the Dominican Republic. In 2014, the additional generation provided by the Quisqueya complex has reduced the cost of power in the Dominican Republic’s wholesale market by approximately 30%, or 5¢ per KWh. We also achieved our best heat rate ever at an average of 8,780 BTU/KWh HHV. Similarly, with the wind power production from Los Cocos, EGE Haina has reduced YTD emissions by 155,132 tons of CO2 and has saved the country 327,286 barrels of imported fuel. In 2014 we added 1.7 MW of new generation at Pedernales by installing a new Hyundai engine. In terms of health and safety, our performance was excellent, with only two minor lost time incidents for the whole year. With the significant increase in production, one might expect total operating costs to increase, too. Yet to the contrary, through a series of cost saving measures and the relocation and optimization of resources, total operating costs in the first 10 months of 2014 were only 1.6% higher when compared to the same period of 2013. Most notably, G&A expenses were reduced by 40% in relation to 2013. During 2014 the company concluded the refinancing of a $175 million international bond, which included the issuance of a $100 million bond in the local debt capital market.

What challenges is EGE Haina facing with regard to the power sector, and what initiatives have to be taken to improve sector performance and competitiveness?

The principle obstacle in the electricity sector remains the poor operational performance of the distribution companies, which is characterized by substantial energy losses resulting from electricity theft by end users. This situation has been exacerbated by the increase in fuel prices over the past five years, which has heavily impacted the distribution companies’ financial results and ability to pay for energy purchases from generators, such as EGE Haina. We believe that tackling energy theft in the country should be the first priority to achieve sector competitiveness.

As a pioneer and leader in production of renewable energy in the Dominican Republic, could you tell us about your view on the transformation of the national energy sector and your prospects for clean technologies and renewable energy production?

Over the past 15 years, the country’s energy matrix has gone from being 90% dependent on foreign oil imports, to being a diversified generation portfolio based on water, wind, natural gas, coal, and only 40% oil. Renewable energy is becoming a significant source of power for the Dominican system. In 2016, approximately 20% of the country’s electricity will come from renewable energy sources (mainly water and wind). It is our hope that clean energy will continue to grow as a source of power for the Dominican Republic. At EGE Haina we are investing significant resources in wind and solar energy and hope to continue leading renewable generation in the private sector.

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