The Business Year


PANAMA - Energy & Mining

Miguel Bolinaga

Country Manager, AES Panama


Miguel Bolinaga is the president of the AES Panama, formed by AES Panama, AES Changuinola, Gas Natural Atlántico, and Costa Norte LNG Terminal. Bolinaga started his work in Panama in July 2013, previously holding the position of VP of External Relations and Electric Market of AES El Salvador. Before arriving in El Salvador in 2006, he was Manager of Marketing and Distribution of C.A. La Electricidad de Caracas. He had 16 years of experience in the Armed Forces of Venezuela prior to his entry into the world of the electric industry. He is a graduate of the Naval School of Venezuela with a degree in administration and logistics. He also holds the degree of systems engineer awarded by the University of the Venezuelan National Armed Forces and a master’s degree in information system development from the Simon Bolivar University in Venezuela.

“One of the things we work on is rural electrification, for example, for those parts of the country without electricity.”
AES Panama is getting involved in Panama’s energy transition via the use of natural gas and providing reliable LNG supply to the region.
What steps is AES Panama taking to be part of the energy transition?

We view the energy transition not only in terms of energy but at the level of everything that has to do with a fuel that is cleaner and more sustainable. That is why, at the energy level, we have made great progress with the issue of natural gas. In fact, we have a publication where we talked more about the subject of natural gas. We had begun to anticipate how it could be included within the energy field. Previously, the energy field in this country was limited, with just hydroelectric and bunker or diesel. Today, it has a significantly more mature energy matrix, with solar, wind, and even around 13-14% natural gas. We are precisely displacing bunker and diesel and giving the country a much more friendly fuel. Beyond producing electricity, natural gas is also a fuel for a long transition that is being seen in Europe. We will pilot a program with two gas-powered buses. Finally, natural gas has an enormous presence in a country like Panama, where around 12,000 vessels pass through the Canal every year. These vessels are under increasing pressure to switch to a more environmentally friendly fuel. Natural gas is significantly less polluting and is part of what is called the Green Route, which the Panama Canal has talked about extensively. Natural gas-based ships can also use our plant to refill, which would also allow Panama to be a transitional part of everything that has to do with natural gas. We are heavily involved in the energy transition, not only in terms of energy but also in terms of fuels for industry. For example, we have a growing industry that manufactures items using biomass. We have signed with other clients that will do something similar soon, and we eventually want to help change the industry. We are busy with the energy transition in the country. We have made strong decisions and are extremely clear in moving from more polluting fuels to cleaner fuels.

What is the importance of providing LNG to Colombia though Colón LNG Marketing, and what role does LNG play within the development of the energy sector in the region?

We are not only thinking about the issue of natural gas or the issue of energy for Panama. Rather, we want to also bring this to Ecuador, Costa Rica, and the Caribbean, because natural gas will be relevant as a cleaner and sustainable transition fuel. In Puerto Buenaventura in Colombia, we bring natural gas to Ecopetrol as part of a pilot program based on multimodal logistics using cryogenic ISOContainers. This has significant consequences, especially on reliable gas supply due to Buenaventura geographical condition for supply energy. It was a successful LNG supply and we would like to extend this LNG supply for up to three years at least. We want Panama to be an energy hub through AES with natural gas, and that will help develop the different businesses in various industries and be more competitive throughout the Americas.

What added value brings AES to the Panamanian society, and what social projects is AES currently working on?

We are undoubtedly one of the largest companies in the country, and we provide support to Panama in many areas, and we will continue to do so; however, we do want to set up a foundation that would allow us to fulfill our vision of improving the quality of life in the areas we serve. We want to do it together with others. For example, we have 11 plants in Panama, and we want to improve the quality of life in the areas in which we serve. We want to make a real impact. One of the things we work on is rural electrification, for example, for those parts of the country without electricity. We are not required to do so, but we want to do it so that everyone has the same opportunities.



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