LatAm nations back strengthening energy integration


Government ministers from countries belonging to the Latin American Energy Organization (OLADE) on Thursday backed strengthening regional energy integration and making changes in fuel distribution networks with an eye toward the future.

At the “3rd Energy Week” conference being held all this workweek in Montevideo, Latin American representatives participating in the 48th Ministers’ Meeting pushed for strengthening the regional integration platforms for energy as one of the challenges the countries jointly face.

That is what Bolivia’s deputy minister for planning and hydrocarbon development, Carlos Quispe, told EFE, noting that the event serves to allow participants to “exchange views” about the relevance of integration mechanisms and emphasizing the importance of going beyond bilateral accords.

“Currently, we’re consolidating our markets and opening new ones. Now we’re doing it through relations of a bilateral nature with each country, Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Peru, ... Uruguay, but we want that relationship to be multilateral,” Quispe said.

“Bolivia has expressed its vision about the importance of energy integration, which is a pillar of our hydrocarbon development policy, and we want to push OLADE as a platform for articulating the needs each country has and ... to have others supply energy,” he added.

Along these lines, the executive secretary for the Chilean National Energy Commission, Jose Venegas, who participated in the session representing Energy Minister Susana Jimenez, said that energy integration is a “priority” for his country.

“In Chile, the integration with our neighboring countries is a fundamental issue and we believe that ... it’s optimizable and can be done. In fact, we’re working on that very intensely with Argentina and Peru,” he said, adding that “the market for energy in the future is going to be very different from what we see today.”

Meanwhile, Uruguayan Industry, Energy and Mining Minister Carolina Cosse agreed that integration must be pursued and she proposed “going beyond” technical exchanges.

“It’s necessary to articulate a long-term common vision and, although it’s good to have spaces for technical exchange in different entities ... it seems to me that we have to go beyond the issue of technical exchanges and achieve ... a regional and subregional energy integration agenda.”