The consortium South Korean Samsung awarded $843 million for the construction of a state factory of urea and ammonia in Bolivia, the largest project of industrialization of natural gas so far undertaken in the country, reported the government.
The state oil company YPFB, which finances the project with a loan from the Central Bank of Bolivia, said that Samsung awarded the final leg of the Spanish Duro Felguera group bidding with a lower budget of 257 million dollars to the official reference price of the work.
The industry, designed to produce 650 thousand tons of ammonia and 725 thousand tons of urea, should be operational in the second half of 2015.
The plant will be part of a natural gas industrialization in which the leftist government of Evo Morales invests about two billion dollars, and should be completed in 2015 as a second stage of the nationalization of oil decreed in 2006.
The plan also includes two complex liquid extractions of gas stream, and in works, and a polyethylene plant, currently under contract, with which Bolivia will export natural gas only without added value, said a report by YPFB.
The Samsung choice on Duro Felguera was preliminary announced by Morales in a rural concentration at which he announced that Bolivia might export urea and ammonia to Brazil, Argentina and possibly Venezuela.
YPFB did not reveal how the project would impact the availability of natural gas exports to Argentina and Brazil, which constitutes the main international business of Bolivia and this year would reach a value of at least five billion dollars, according to official projections.
The oil company said Samsung will run the design to the commissioning of the plant, which will be located in the central department of Cochabamba, near the coca-growing region of Chapare and several gas fields where it will obtain the raw material.
The contract will be signed in September, said YPFB.