Natural Gas

Natural Gas

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.

In the home, EPM natural gas can be used in different ways, and involves the installation of an internal pipeline, gas meter and domestic appliances that run on gas, all of which are governed by quality technical standards. The benefits of using natural gas in the home are: ease of use, increase in value of the property, safety, cleanliness, environmental conservation, productivity, efficiency and savings.

  • Homes served: 541,887 (including the Aburrá Valley and five municipalities).
  • SMEs and commerce: 7,828 (including the Aburrá Valley and five municipalities).

Gas is a clean source of energy that is both efficient and economic, and is an energy alternative to electricity and other fuels such as liquid gas (known as propane).

This clean source of energy allows desired temperatures to be quickly reached.

  • Uses
  • Cooking
  • Drying laundry
  • Heating water
  • Central heating

Since 2009, expansion to other municipalities in Antioquia has commenced through the compressed natural gas system. In 2011, five municipalities in the North will be added to those of La Ceja, La Unión, El Retiro, Guatapé and El Peñol, in the East: San Pedro de los Milagros, Yarumal, Donmatías, Enterríos and Santa Rosa de Osos.

It can be used in commercial premises, SMEs and small-scale industries.

It is an energy alternative to other fuels and represents a savings of nearly 40% versus liquid gas or LPG.

In addition, it does not require costly refining processes, which guarantees lower prices.

Industrial-sector uses

Boiler use to obtain steam at efficiency of up to 90%, fully exploiting the energy produced by the gas. Maintenance and operation of these systems is simpler due to minimizing sooty deposits, which therefore significantly reduces operation and maintenance costs.

  • Thermal treatment systems
    In these processes, electrical resistance is generally used, which takes much longer to reach the required temperatures. With EPM natural gas, this process takes less time, which results in significant savings, not just in terms of greater productivity, but also because kilowatts produced with energy have a higher price. When fuels are replaced by EPM natural gas, greater efficiency is achieved due to its cleanliness.
  • Baking
    It is used in high-temperature processes such as metallurgy and baking, whether required in the kitchen or in the bakery. The transfer of heat through convection is better in natural gas appliances because the flame is uniform. In addition, the processes are cleaner, and therefore, the quality of products improves and problems such as the obstruction of filters, combustion chambers, ducts and exhaust systems do not arise.
  • Cooking
    Natural gas is used in industrial food preparation, providing rapid cooking thereof and a constant and uninterrupted service. The market offers an extensive variety of equipment for this process, which is adapted to different needs.

Processes involving Gas

  • Steam generation
    Pasteurization, chemical processes, drying, cooking and food preparation.
  • Heat generation
    Cooking, thermal treatment, water heating.
  • Cold generation
    Control of environmental conditions in enclosed spaces and food conservation.
  • This service is reflected in better air quality in the Metropolitan Area of Medellín.
  • Vehicles converted to VNG in the Aburrá Valley: 35,000.
  • Service stations: 56.