LA PAZ – Bolivia’s government says it will invest $135.6 million over five years in an electricity distribution company it expropriated from Spanish utility Iberdrola in late 2012.
Vice President Alvaro Garcia Linera made the announcement Wednesday during a ceremony marking the first anniversary of Distribuidora de Electricidad La Paz, or Delapaz, as Iberdrola’s former Electropaz unit is now known.
The power distributor invested just $8 million annually when it was run by “foreigners,” while that total increased to $13.2 million last year while under state control, he said in the ceremony in El Alto, near this capital.
Delapaz will invest $25.7 million this year and $109.9 million between 2015 and 2018, the vice president said.
No agreement has yet been reached with Iberdrola on compensation for Delapaz and other units expropriated from the Spanish utility: an electricity distribution company serving the western Bolivian region of Oruro, known as Elfeo; an investment management firm; and a service provider.
Evo Morales, Bolivia’s leftist president, said at the time of the expropriation that Iberdrola’s failure to provide uniform electricity service in rural areas had caused rates in those zones to climb significantly.
Delapaz distributes electricity to urban and rural areas with a single tariff of 60 Bolivian centavos ($0.08) per kilowatt-hour.