Colombia's El Niño fears decrease

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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Revised forecasts and forward-looking preparation have Colombian power generators worrying less about the El Niño weather phenomenon.

In Colombia El Niño typically results in lower rainfall and higher temperatures. Colombia derives the bulk of its electricity from hydroelectric plants, so a particularly dry year can diminish supplies and increase prices while forcing generators to use more expensive thermoelectric sources.

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The latest forecasts from international energy agencies have lowered the chance of an El Niño phenomenon occurring in the third quarter to 50% from 80%, local media said.

Colombia's own meteorological and environment agency Ideam has also reduced the chance and forecast intensity of an El Niño event from predictions earlier this year.

"Right now, capacity of our reservoirs is good, which will enable us to deal with any situation in the last quarter," the president of Colombian power generators association Andeg, Alejandro Castañeda, was quoted as saying.

Colombian energy and gas regulator Creg has passed new resolutions increasing power firms' flexibility in using natural gas for thermo generation. Creg also passed a resolution specifying when and how regulators would intervene in the power sector should hydroelectric reservoirs fall too low.