(Energy Analytics Institute, Ian Silverman, 19.Nov.2019) — At least 140 industries – including large and medium sized ones in the Bolivian departments of La Paz, Cochabamba and Oruro – have been affected by a lack of natural gas supply resulting from damage to the Carrasco-Cochabamba (GCC by its Spanish acronym) Pipeline, for reasons still under investigation.
In Cochabamba, there are 65 productive units affected, while 50 have been affected in La Paz and 25 in Oruro, reported online media La Razón, citing comments from National Chamber of Industries (CNI) President Ibo Blazicevic.
“The national manufacturing industry, particularly in La Paz, Oruro and Cochabamba, is in a state of alarm due to lack of gas that threatens to stop production activities,” the CNI said in an official statement.
Under normal conditions, the GCC Pipeline transports up to 100 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d) of natural gas, while the Al Altiplano Gas Pipeline (GAA by its Spanish acronym) transports another 75 MMcf/d. Both pipelines supply gas to satisfy demand in the western region of Bolivia. Although the GCC is halted, the GAA can continue to send gas to the region western region.
A number of companies have also been affected by social conflicts including but not limited to the following: Embotelladoras Bolivianas United SA (Embol), Cervecería Boliviana Nacional (CBN), PIL Andina, Unilever, Ceramil (production unit of the Bolivian Cooperative of Cement Industries and Services-Coboce), Sociedad Boliviana de Cemento SA (Soboce), Astrix, Pepsi, Huari, Enalbo, among others.
Bolivia’s manufacturing industrial sector consumes 51% of the country’s gas, the main input for the manufacture of products in the food, beverages, metalworking, pharmaceutical and furniture sectors, among others. Said demand represents between 6-7 million cubic meters per day (MMcm/d) of consumption in the domestic market, according to La Razón.
Bolivia’s Hydrocarbon Minister Victor Hugo Zamora said recently that repairs to the pipeline will take about a week to complete and will cost at least half a million dollars.
© Energy Analytics Institute (EAI)