Paraguay and Bolivia agree to build gas pipeline

Mar 12, 2002 01:00 AM

Bolivia and Paraguay signed an agreement in principle to build a gas pipeline that would also link up with points in Argentina and Brazil. The document was signed by the foreign ministers of Bolivia and Paraguay, Gustavo Fernandez and Jose Antonio Moreno Ruffinelli, respectively.
Fernandez noted that his government is extremely interested in building a pipeline between Bolivia and Paraguay and to points in southern Brazil and northern Argentina, similar to the one planned to run between Santa Cruz and Sao Paulo. Although Bolivia's natural gas sector has been privatised, the government regulates exports.

The construction of a pipeline linking Bolivian gas fields with Paraguay is pending congressional approval in Paraguay. The bill sent to Congress by the administration of President Luis Gonzalez Macchi includes provisions for private sector participation, Moreno said.
The Bolivian minister also underscored the importance of the proposed Paraguay-Parana waterway, noting that 70 % of all Bolivian grain production is carried by the region's rivers. The project stalled in recent years.

Paraguay is linked to Bolivia by the Transchaco highway, which runs through the Bolivian provinces of Chaco and Tarija and is only partially paved. The building of the highway -- intended to link the Atlantic seaboard with the Pacific coast in southern South America -- was undertaken by Argentine, Brazilian, Chilean, Bolivian, Peruvian and Paraguayan businesses.

Source: EFE
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