While "A Switch to Natural Gas Could Be a Winner" which was written here in the Source is an interesting concept, it will not work here because of the local prevailing price of its close relative, LPG (Propane, Liquefied Petroleum Gas).
When Gasoline reached $3/gal., I was outraged as everyone else here. As a former forklift repair tech, I`ve performed numerous gas to Propane conversions. So, I was somewhat excited regarding the possible profit that could be had converting automobiles here! It seems, that even though Propane prices haven't moved anywhere near the price of gasoline, I did some research. The local (St. Thomas prices) bring the per gallon price equal to $3.21/gal. Price is adjusted for the 80% efficiency of LPG compared to regular gasoline.
While the US average brings the adjusted price closer to $1.35, it seems despite the lack of severe price movements in the LPG locally, our prices are much too high to enter into such a venture as we've been getting badly gouged all along! Either LPG or LNG burns much cleaner than oil or Gasoline. Now, if we could enjoy this byproduct windfall of Natural gas from Hovensa (Natural gas is very much like propane, a minor adjustment to the fuel supply orifice needs to be made), our fuel problems would be solved.
The real problem though, seems to be PSC and/or our inability to control fuel & thus utility prices. Since Gasoline in Puerto Rico is $1.98 (as of 10/04/06) and has probably gone down since then, why IS it that our prices remain over $3 in St. Thomas??
I have a possible answer, stay tuned.
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