EPM has provided piped natural gas since 1996, the year in which its pilot phase began. In 1998, this gave rise to its natural gas service mass distribution program, through a domestic network of pipelines that services residential, commercial and industrial sectors in the Aburrá Valley. Today, it has fully expanded across ten municipalities in the Aburrá Valley, including Medellín, and in other locations in Antioquia, offering a secure, economic and environmentally friendly energy alternative.
In addition to covering the residential sector, the service has diversified in order to satisfy the needs of the industry, SMEs, commerce, and vehicle transport. In order to service large-scale industries, EPM expanded its coverage to the Guarne and Rionegro municipalities, situated in Eastern Antioquia.
The natural gas distribution project includes the construction of more than 85 kilometers of primary steel pipeline that operates at pressures between 100 and 275 psig, and 26 regulator stations that reduce pressure to 60 psig in order to service residential and commercial sectors and also to meet the requirements of the industrial sector. In addition, there are 4,700 kilometers of polyethylene pipeline used to supply gas to end clients at a maximum pressure of 60 psig.
- Steel pipeline: 87 kilometers.
- Polyethylene pipeline: 4,224 kilometers (4,001 km in the Aburrá Valley, and 188 km for the Gas without Borders program), through which the service is provided to other municipalities outside the Aburrá Valley through the Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) system.
- Regulating stations: 27 (22 in the Aburrá Valley).
- Clients connected: 535,299 in the Aburrá Valley.
- Clients connected through the Gas without Borders program: 6,588 (5 municipalities).
As a result of a decision made by the Municipality of Medellín, natural gas will be the fuel used in Metroplús buses, the new mass transportation system that will operate in Medellín.