Bolivian petchem project hits snag


LA PAZ, June 29, 2017 – State-owned Yacimientos Petrolíferos Fiscales Bolivianos’ (YPFB) plans to build Bolivia’s first propylene and polypropylene plant have hit a snag with the annulment of the USD 2.2-billion contract for the project.

Commenting on the government’s decision on Wednesday, Minister of Energy Luis Sanchez said that “administrative errors were found during a revision of the report,” adding that YPBF would issue a fresh public tender “in the next few months.”

“Between the contract award and signing, it’s common to annul a contract. That means we’ll draft a new contract. We’ll need to take some time,” Sanchez also said.


Construction of the plant was expected to commence in 2017 and be completed by 2021.

Once operations commence, the capacity of the plant will be 250,000 tpy of polypropylene. About 80-90% of the output is set to be exported while the remainder is planned to be used domestically.

In December 2016, YPFB chose two finalists in the bidding process for FEED-EPC work of a planned propylene and polypropylene plant.

Out of five bidding companies, a conglomerate of Samsung Engineering-Intecsa Ingeniería Industrial known as UTE Polipropileno Yacuiba and a Tecnimont-Técnicas Reunidas consortium known as UTE TCM-TR were qualified for the final stage of the bidding. The latter tie-up was announced the winner in May 2017.