A new bill proposes transforming the Costa Rican Petroleum Refinery (Recope) into a public alternative energy company.

The initiative was presented last Monday afternoon in the Hall of Expression of the Legislative Assembly, by the president of the institution, Alejandro Muñoz Villalobos. In the same act, the Government of the Republic announced 2 other proposals; one on public employment, and the other on closing the National Scholarship Fund (Fonabe). If the plan is approved, the entity would be renamed the Costa Rican Fuel and Alternative Energy Company (Ecoena).

The objective of the project is to provide this new state company “with the legislation that allows it to develop alternative chemical energies and associated products, for the decarbonization of the economy, guaranteeing the continuity, quality, efficiency, and effectiveness of the provision of the public service that provides”, according to the proposed text.

Likewise, the proviso is that none of the new products developed in the company will be part of the monopoly that Ecoena will continue to administer, comprised of oil and its derivatives.

RECOPE oil tanks in Limón

“Obviously we do not have Recope or Ecoena all the professional profiles that will be needed, therefore, in those new companies that are developed in this industry that would be born, we will have to hire those profiles that we do not have today, which is positive because it will generate employment in an industry that can be very important for the country”, said Muñoz on the expansion of the form.

One of the novelties of the project is that it creates a Fund for the Development of Alternative Chemical Energies, which aims to promote the incorporation of these in the national energy matrix. To finance it, the Public Services Regulatory Authority (Aresep) must recognize in the pricing of up to 0.15% of the gross sales of Ecoena for the research of alternative fuels and for seed capital whose purpose is the formalization of strategic alliances.

Another aspect included in the initiative has to do with a faculty to the institution to subscribe public-private partnerships. for example, with universities or companies interested in the development of alternative energies. The latter, according to Muñoz, would boost employment and technology, while catapulting Costa Rica as a world reference in decarbonization.