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Bolivia issues threat to Iberdrola, Red Electrica

8 August 2007 – Bolivia has sent a veiled threat to international electricity companies in the country, including Red Electrica de Espana (REE) and Iberdrola, by announcing plans to boost operations at national power company Ende, El Economista said.

The newspaper cited President Evo Morales as saying he aims to ‘break up the monopoly in the electricity sector by re-establishing’ Ende’s presence, which he described as ‘residual’ at present.

Bolivia needs ‘a strong electricity company to push forward with interconnection plans’, Morales said.

REE is active in the electricity transport sector in Bolivia, while Iberdrola is involved in the distribution business.

After Morales’ move last year to nationalise the oil industry, with the consequent damaging effects on operations at majors such as Repsol, REE chairman Luis Atienza said the company saw ‘no need’ to revise its strategy in Bolivia.

He highlighted the agreement signed between the electricity sector and the new Bolivian government ‘guaranteeing stability’ until 2009.