Petrobras is considering to buy less Bolivian gas, according to the Brazilian publication O Globo. The president of Petrobras, Roberto Castello Branco said that he wants to review the contract with Bolivia. Under the agreement, Petrobras is committed to buying 24 million cubic metres (Mcm) of gas per day, and there were moments that the shipments reached 30Mcm per day. Petrobras wants to buy only 15Mcm as the demand in the local market was low, and the company has enough reserves to cover the domestic market.
An international arbitration court ruled that Bolivia should pay $US18 million to South American Silver Limited for the reversion of Mallku Khota mine in Potosi. South American Silver, a Canadian firm, demanded Bolivia in 2013 asking for $US 385.7 million in compensation. The government insisted that the Canadian company invested $US18 million and offered to pay only this sum. The international arbitration court ruled in favour of Bolivia in this case.
The pay of a second Christmas bonus proposed by the Government is still contested by the private sector and also by the main trade union in Bolivia. The Morales Administration confirmed that the Christmas bonus should go ahead because the economy will grow 4.61%. However, the private sector represented by the Confederación de Empresarios Privados de Bolivia (CEPB), rejected the initiative arguing that it will put the economy and jobs at risk. Meanwhile, the main trade union (COB) rejected all the government proposals to comply with the payment of the bonus and demanded its cancellation before 20 December.
The payment of the second end-of-year bonus must be fulfilled regardless who likes it or not, insisted the Work Minister, Andres Hinojosa. However, the private sector keeps its position of not paying the bonus as it considers it a “perverse decree” that impacts profoundly on revenues, according to the representative of private entrepreneurs, Wilfredo Rojo. Both sectors hope to reach an agreement that allows overcoming the impasse.
The Bolivian State and the Bolivian Mining Corporation (Comibol) were excluded from the arbitration process that the Indian Jindal Steel began against the state-owned Mutun Steel Company (ESM), informed the Bolivian government. Jindal seeks compensation of $US86 million after the Morales Administration executed a warranty bill for not finishing the steel project in Mutun.
“By September this year, twelve of 31state-owned companies have implemented only 24.4% of their budget, according to the Ministry of Economy.
The telecommunications satellite Tupac Katari has generated revenues of around $US100 million since 2014 and the number of clients exceeds the 200 companies in the country. The director of the Bolivian Space Agency (ABE) stressed that the cost of the satellite would be covered in 15 years maximum.
Bolivia looks to guarantee that it has enough cobalt reserve to ensure the production of lithium batteries in the country. Cobalt, next to lithium, is a key component for the production of lithium batteries. Government representatives have recently inspected San Luis Mine in Potosi to ensure that the country has enough reserves of cobalt, so the production of lithium batteries in the country can go ahead.
Mining company San Cristobal extract in 2017 a total of 634,000 tonnes of zinc-silver and plumb-silver concentrate. According to former Mining Minister, Dioniso Garzon, San Cristobal’s production is equivalent to 50% of all extractions in Bolivia and represent around 25% of the incomes.
“State-owned companies produced Bs. 51,360 million in incomes between 2006 and 2017, said Veronica Ramos, director of the Technical Bureau for the Strengthening of the Public Enterprise (OFEP).