The Voice spoke with Santiago Pérez, Managing Director of AOGLP to hear his thoughts and goals for AOGLP.
The Voice: Please could you tell us about AOGLP and its key activities?
Santiago Pérez: AOGLP is the LPG Spanish Association founded in 1998. AOGLP represents the main distributors of LPG in our country, with more than 95% of the total LPG sales. The AOGLP is focused in to main activities:
- The defense of a free LPG market. Spain is the only country in Europe with regulated LPG prices for bottled gas. This is an important brake to the right development of research and development of the LPG business and impede an increase of the quality of service to the customers.
- The boost of Autogas to reach the same development of this business than the most advanced countries in Europe.
And, at the same time, to obtain the recognition of been a sustainable and efficient energy, that must play an important role in the fight against climate change.
The Voice: Could you tell us a little about your career path to get to get you here?
Santiago Pérez: I began my career in the energy area in 1989 with Repsol, after 8 years in the shipping business, as naval architect. From Repsol, to Gas Natural in the Planning area, and returning to Repsol to develop the piped LPG in little cities and villages. Then I managed the LPG Business of YPF Gas in Argentina during 4 years and then Repsol LPG Business in Portugal, after the acquisition of Shell Gas Portugal. In my career I also occupied different position in the LPG area with Repsol and other positions in the retail oil area. Now, the challenge of managing the Spanish Association is the best “icing in the cake” for my career.
The Voice: What do you see as the key challenges today in the Spanish market?
Santiago Pérez: The main and most difficult challenge in Spain is the liberalisation of the bottled market. Although the Hydrocarbons Spanish Law set that the market must bee free, and with free prices, the Spanish Government maintain it regulated during more than 20 years due to supposed social reasons that are completely deprived of sense in the current situation. This regulation, with very low margins, obstruct concurrency and avoid a reasonable development of the market.
The Voice: And what about the main opportunities for AOGLP today?
I see a good opportunity to boost the Autogas market in Spain. We have obtained an important success in the recognition of Autogas as an alternative fuel, and the labelling of ECO by the transit authorities. This ECO labelled cars have important advantages as less taxes, less parking fares and free access to some areas that are restricted to traffic for conventional cars in contaminating episodes. Now we need to better communicate the advantages to the potential customers and to convince to the car makers to put more LPG cars in the market and to promote their sales. We find a lot of opportunities to develop the LPG market in new applications in agriculture use, heat pump, microgeneration and renewables back up, beyond the natural gas grid. And we are exploring new opportunities in marine propulsion, not only for little yachts, but also for big ships.
The Voice: What benefits do you see as being a member of the WLPGA? How do you envisage working together with us?
Santiago Pérez: Our Association understand that it is very important to belong to the WLPGA. We can share with our colleges all around the world our difficulties and our challenges, and we can find together appropriate solutions. And also, we receive the best information of new technological developments and some important keys to face new challenges. Definitely, WLPGA can help us to boost the LPG Industry in Spain.