Bolivia’s state-owned energy firm YPFB has signed a major deal to supply gas to Russian fertilizer giant Acron’s plants based in Brazil, which opens up a potentially important new market for the landlocked South American country. YPFB agreed to sell 2.2 million cubic meters of natural gas per day to the Russian firm for a 20-year period starting from 2023. “Today we consolidated a new market for Bolivian gas,” said Luis Alberto Sánchez, Bolivia’s Minister of Hydrocarbons, whereby its government also agreed to establish a company together with Acron for the sale of urea in Brazil.
Acron is one of the world’s biggest fertilizer producers that supplies urea to Brazilian farmers. YPFB will also get a 12% stake in the Russian company’s Tres Lagunas plant, with the option to raise that to 30%. Mr. Sánchez also announced that YPFB and Russia’s Gazprom had completed negotiation of a contract for the exploration and exploitation of the Vitiacua area, a reservoir of natural gas with recoverable resources estimated at 2.13 trillion cubic feet (TCF). This project that will require an investment of some $1.1 billion could produce an estimated 12 million cubic meters per day of gas by 2028.
In the framework of a recent visit of President Evo Morales to Russia, Mr. Sánchez told media that “we have the opportunity to commercialize 80% of the volume of urea manufactured in our Amoniaco – urea plant within the Brazilian market, which is one of the most important consumers due to the intense agricultural activity that characterizes them”. The Russian company Acron, which is one of the most important Russian fertilizer companies in the world, has since last year been involved in negotiations with Bolivia, for its strategic location and installed duct infrastructure that facilitate the commercialization of natural gas required for the operation of the urea manufacturing plant. “The closure of negotiations that we reached today was possible due to the proximity of our fertilizer plant with the fertilizer plant owned by Acron,” added the Bolivian minister.