MercoPress, en Español

Montevideo, June 2nd 2023 - 19:25 UTC



Uruguay diversifies energy mix with 530 MW combined-cycle-gas-power plant

Thursday, December 20th 2012 - 20:38 UTC
Full article 32 comments

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has approved a loan for 200 million dollars to Uruguay to help finance the construction of a 530 MW combined-cycle gas power plant to help diversify the country's energy mix in an environmentally sustainable manner. Read full article


Disclaimer & comment rules
  • redpoll

    Yes its a problem as Uruguay has no oil of its own as yet but we are still hoping for results from offshore and possible on shore at Pepe Nunez in Salto
    All our needs could be supplied from Paraguay which exports 90% of the hydro power it produces, mainly to Brazil at knock down prices. Some of this electricity is then reexported to Uruguay at international market prices or more. The other alternative is to use the Argentine transmission lines but the astronomical charges they ask for doing this makes that more expensive than an oil or gas powered generating station
    The truism often qoted by UTE, the state electicity monopoly, is that the hydro power in Uruguay is fully used. Nonsense! There is another site on the Rio Negro which could be developed. Added to which many more mini hydros could be used such as the Cunapiru dam , constructed in 1880 as the first hydro dam in SA and breached in the big flood of 1959. I think over 90% of the water in our rivers flows into the sea as against less than 20% in Spain. Ok the main base load will continue to be provided by our big hydro dams, suplemented by oil fired power stations. But off peak generation can be used by base load stations for what is known as pumped storage. This technology is not new. You use excess electicity at night to pump water into a storage dam by a reversible pump/turbine. When peak load between 5pm and 11pm comes on you you release the storage to generate electricity and then reuse the water by pumping it back in the slack periods
    What is needed here is a macro policy on water resources which takes into account the cost benefits not only of power generation but also agricultural irrigation, particularly for rice , a major export but also heavily dependant on high water usage
    We have a major subterainian water resource in the Guarani acquifer which our nieghbouring countries are happily using We are not.
    Lets wise up Uruguay!

    Dec 21st, 2012 - 03:43 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • ChrisR

    @1 redpoll

    Excellent précis of the present situation, highlighting as it does the gargantuan monopoly that is UTE.

    This announcement comes at the 99th hour before the IDB loan expired. The reason it almost expired is that UTE accused the preferred bidder of false references. I checked this out myself and realised what they said was the truth BUT the Hyundai they railed against was NOT the Hyundai who is STILL the preferred bidder and WINNER of the contract.

    Talk about the right hand not knowing what the left hand was doing! Pitiful.

    Dec 21st, 2012 - 09:14 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Stevie

    I think that two expats presenting their views on how the country they chose as destiny should run their business in the energy sector is fair enough, but kind of a waste of time.
    Especially regarding the fact that according to themselves, they seem to be on top of things.

    If you like me have difficulties with the Spanish language, try inserting the link in google translate.

    Dec 21st, 2012 - 10:31 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • ChrisR

    3 Stevie

    Have you read @1 redpolls post?

    Do you understand it?

    Do you really understand my post?

    Have you read my UTE posts over the last year regarding the very poor service and extreme charges that come with it?

    Have you been following the UTE saga over the last 22 months, particularly the inept management problems?

    I have real problems that your critique demonstrates that you have not.

    I await your response to be proven incorrect.

    Dec 22nd, 2012 - 04:55 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Stevie

    How you percieve the managment of UTE is your own personal view, it doesn't mean it exists a problem. According to Uruguayan media they are doing rather good.
    And if you ask me, local media gives a far better indication as to how thing are going than the views of a critical expat who not only criticizes the country he chose to live in, but also the surrounding nations.

    Dec 22nd, 2012 - 05:55 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • ynsere

    Stevie @ 5
    I beg to differ. I think Uruguay needs more critical expats rather than fewer. BTW, I'm not an expat. I'm a Uruguayan born and bred, with mostly Basque and Gallego forebears

    Dec 22nd, 2012 - 07:06 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Stevie

    If there is something I can't agree with, it's people leaving their own countries by own choice, settle in a new by own choice, and then criticize without actually trying to improve the situation the criticize. You are, of course, free to think different. Regardless of where you are from.

    Dec 22nd, 2012 - 07:12 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • ChrisR

    7 Stevie

    I am an expat Brit living in Uruguay for the last 22 months. A place I love and the people are fantastic.

    I am also a professional Electrical Engineer, have been a Technical Director of a GEC company and have run several of my own companies before retiring to Uruguay.

    And if you knew ANYTHING about me you would realise that I am critical of the completely inept UTE, ANCAP and to some extent OSE monopolies for very good reasons. Who do you think have to pay for the errors that are caused by these stupid decisions. CLUE: it is the people who pay taxes out of their earned income (not the state stooges who have no productive outcomes).

    So, where are your answers to my post other than the embittered view you take of all Brits? You lack not only the training and experience required for positive comment but your other posts in support of TMBOA show distinct lack of intellect.

    For your information this is NOT an opinion, it is a JUDGEMENT by me of you. I doubt however you can understand the difference.

    So tell me, as you are utterly incapable of answering my post @4, which country do you come from and where do you reside now?

    Perhaps you can answer these questions; you should KNOW the answers after all.

    Dec 22nd, 2012 - 07:55 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Stevie

    Again, I have to repeat myself, it doesn't matter where you are from or what your education is. A country's perception of it's own internal matters will always outweight a critical expat who thinks he knows better.
    With all respect, if you don't like it, you can do what you've seemingly done before, pack your bags and leave.
    Where I reside has nothing to do with the subject, I'm not here to discuss my personal life with you.

    Dec 22nd, 2012 - 08:38 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • redpoll

    Stevie well if an almost contunous residence but myfamily forebears in this country for 189 years is a guide then yes then I am an expat
    Some of these state entities have overcome thier inertia slowly but as they are state quangos run by a directorate of political appointees who are here today and gone tomorrow very little gets done to reduce inefficieny and to plan long term. With a few exceptions,they have very little expertise in the enterprizes they run. Yes some good things have been done but omg the waste that goes on

    Dec 22nd, 2012 - 08:45 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Stevie

    My last post was directed to Chris.
    From what I read in Uruguayan media, Mujica is a President that divides the masses, but like it or not, the nation has improved like never before in practically all areas. Vasquez was a President (and will be?) that united the people more than Mujica, but this doesn't take any credit from the latter.
    And both of them are far more efficient than any of the former excuses of President that the poor little nation had to endure.
    As it is, the country hasn't had so few poor people as they have today since the 60's.

    They must be doing something right.
    But of course, you shouldn't be “sleeping on the laurels” because of that.

    Regarding Chris, to understand my point of view, you need to turn the tables around. Imagine me being Uruguayan as yourself and moving to the UK by own will. Imagine me logging in to a Uruguayan site and continously bash the UK for things I percieve as badly managed. Imagine what the UK people on this site would have to say about that.

    Dec 22nd, 2012 - 08:55 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • ChrisR

    11 Stevie

    You have made this totally unsound judgement of me on the basis of the above post which is out of context given your lack of understanding of my previous posts.

    Ask redpoll if he thinks I have been in anyway unjustly biased in my posts about Uruguay.

    Reading the papers is not going to educate you sufficiently about Uruguay. You only have to look to AG and TMBOA actions against free speech, even you must see that.

    And you are an undoubted hypocrite in not even saying where you live now and where you originally come from.

    However, from you convoluted logic I bet you are an argie and a Malvanista, albeit with some education in a real society such as any western country, which you now despise and feel guilty about.

    Dec 22nd, 2012 - 09:17 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Stevie

    Uruguay is not a “western country”, does this mean it's not a “real society” where you could get a proper education?
    It doesn't matter if any local agrees with you in your perceptions, you will most certainly find many locals around the globe that does just that.
    What matters is that if you aren't doing anything in order to improve what you percieve as mismanagement, all you are doing is bashing a nation where you chose to live yourself, and that's just plain wrong.
    Are you allowed to vote? Don't answer, I already know the answer.

    Am I a hypocrite because I don't want to discuss my personal life on an open internet thread? That's just a ridiculous statement.
    Again, if you think I'm Argentine, be my guest. But Malvinista? What have I ever posted that makes you think I have an opinion about the Falklands/Malvinas? Feel free to keep me out of that discussion.

    Dec 22nd, 2012 - 09:25 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • redpoll

    Pepe I think is an honest man but as a president he is completely indecisive and hopeless. Yes I think we will get Dr Vasquez returned next time and though I dont agree with his party he at least sticks up for our country. You say all the previous lot were useless. Jorge Battle had to face the worst financial crisis a decade ago and set the country on the road to prosperity. The unemploment index is so low today because all those on government handouts ((MIDES) are registered as being employed and are quite happy with thier status

    Dec 22nd, 2012 - 09:35 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Stevie

    I remember reading about the sacking of Uruguayan bank back in, when was it 2000? 2002? I can't remember the name of the family behind the disaster, but they stole quite a lot of money and sent to the Cayman Islands. What was it? 2 banks, 3 they emptied of peoples savings? Who was the President at that time? What did he do to stop the sacking? You will never make me believe that the government didn't know anything about that incident while it was happening.

    The Broad Coalition is the only one responsible for the prosperity that Uruguay has seen the last decade, the former criminals left a country in ruins, people leaving in masses.
    I remember seeing a writing on a wall on the way to the international airport, “last man out switches the light off”.
    I also remember sign with Battles face on saying “This man is not our son”, signed by the prostitutes.

    Yes, I've been to South America on various ocassions, and I never fail visiting your little nation. I especially appreciate the way you guys express your views on public walls

    Dec 22nd, 2012 - 09:45 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • redpoll

    Glad you enjoy coming to our country and long may you continue to do so. Perhaps you should visit what theMontevideanos call the interior as if it was some undiscovered continent. Yes lots of graffitti- we have freedom of expression here. But to quote Tom Lehrers song “dont write naughty words on walls if you cant spell”
    Yes the Peirano bank fraud was a scandal but the current govt isnt immune. Watch the PLUNA story unfold and UTE seems to be negotiating a contract with an Indian company which has filed for bankrupcy

    Dec 22nd, 2012 - 10:24 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Stevie

    The Pluna issue was some sad reading, although I can see positives on both sides of the opinions. All around the world, flight companies are running on deficits, and a little country as Uruguay doesn't really need such a company regarding the amount of people it moves around. But yes, the national pride must have taken a battering.

    Dec 22nd, 2012 - 10:57 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • redpoll

    Itsnot a question of national pride though that comes into it. Its the question of investing millions in a new coop which may save the jobs of 600 people, most of whom are fairly well heeled and can find a job without too much difficulty in the airline or tourist industry. The money would have been much better spent invested in our education system which lets face it is the future of my country

    Dec 22nd, 2012 - 11:28 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Stevie

    On that I agree, because of the fact that I stated above, in my opinion, Uruguay is too small a country to be on wings, it would be hard to make it rentable.
    Still, your nation is doing a great job in the education sector, a friend told me something about finally getting a university in your beloved “interior”.
    Not sure if it was a univesity though

    Dec 22nd, 2012 - 11:38 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • redpoll

    The university for the “interior” is just political bombast to create more political posts for the party helots. We already have the structure in UTU which with investment could be upgaded to University status without creating another bureaucratic tier

    Dec 22nd, 2012 - 11:55 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Stevie

    I was thinking more of the possibility to study not having to move to the capital. Something my Uruguayan friend says is crucial for the “interior”.

    Dec 23rd, 2012 - 12:03 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • redpoll

    Steve Its supposed to be a techological university. What we want isnt more lawyers and economists most of whom just end up in politiccs anyway. We need better engineers, teachers, municipal administrators, computer whizz kids and resposible agronomists and veterinarians. Medicine? Well in my city many people come for thier operations rather than Montevideo. Thats the way forward. Lets do it

    Dec 23rd, 2012 - 12:42 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Stevie

    Wish you the best, and I mean it. Your nation has everything it needs to achieve what many only could hope for, and this includes many of the developed nations as well.

    Dec 23rd, 2012 - 12:52 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • redpoll

    Ta for your goodwill and wishes. Money in the confidence bank for when the next crisis hits us as it will do sooner or later. Meanwhile keep spending your hard earned dollars/euros/ pounds in my country. We appreciate it. BTW there are some nice holidays available in the interior on estancias turisticas which range from five star resorts down to basic b&bs

    Dec 23rd, 2012 - 01:10 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • British_Kirchnerist

    #13 Well it may officially be called “the Oriental Republic of Uruguay”, but for Chris to come from Briatian and say its not western just shows he's either never seen a map or just an arrogant “westerner”...

    #14 I don't think Vasquez can come back though after asking George W to invade in order to deter Argentina?!

    Dec 24th, 2012 - 02:46 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • ChrisR


    Oh dear!

    Another shot from the hip, eh Blind_Scottie_Kirchener? The never travelled to SA expert on politics, fetish over TMBOA and a load more crap beside.

    As much as I love Uruguay, I do not see things through rose tinted glasses (unlike you over TMBOA).

    The country is by far the most developed of SA except perhaps for Chile, BUT neither are western.

    Problems abound but have to be accepted for what they are, except when the government rips off the workers, you may remember workers you unreconstructed commie, who earn a lot less than UK workers and have to pay more in tax to fund the western sickness that is ‘unemployment benefit’. You should try coming here and asking people holding down what would be good jobs in the UK how do they see things.

    There are as many spongers here as there are in the UK. The difference is that productive workers (not government employees) who fund ALL these programmes are a fraction of the 3M people here.

    But the government does nothing to cut back on its spending: in fact, it has spent more than it had intended (and that was a big increase on previous years) simply because there are very few reporting mechanisms to flag up the excesses. The usual method is to wait until the department in question does a report – then it’s too late.

    Two of my friends illustrate the point. Both are University Graduates, both are now in their mid-fifties, both are high school teachers. In the UK they would be worth about £100K / USD160K per year together.

    BOTH have second jobs to make ends meet!

    Pepe gives away USD 12,500 per month out of his salary. Very laudable but I would much rather him concentrate on getting the whole system working properly so he did not HAVE to do this and people could earn a reasonable wage. But I doubt you will agree with any of this.

    Dec 24th, 2012 - 03:44 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • redpoll

    Somos todos Orientales aca. If you are under threat of invasion you ask for help from where you can get it

    Dec 24th, 2012 - 05:31 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • ynsere

    In 1950 Uruguay asked for and obtained a US donation of Mustang fighters to defend the country against Peronist threats of invasion. Uruguayan Air Force pilots took the PanAm clipper to the US and then flew the fighters all the way to Montevideo.
    Vázquez was not the first Uruguayan president to fear an Argentine invasion and request military help abroad. And your statement that he asked the Yanks to invade is untrue.

    Dec 24th, 2012 - 05:58 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Troy Tempest

    @13 stevie

    “What matters is that if you aren't doing anything in order to improve what you percieve as mismanagement, all you are doing is bashing a nation where you chose to live yourself, and that's just plain wrong.”

    Stevie, that is a ridiculous statement.
    Mercopress is publishing international news articles to an English-speaking audience, with an online forum for discussion.

    It is not up to you to decide who may post on the forum.
    Everyone is entitled to render an opinion from what they have read, and observed.

    One can remark on any problem they may perceive, without having a solution for it. Nor are they obligated to be “working to improve the situation” before they can post.

    Obviously, much of the audience is not local. You wish to impose a restriction on criticism, and disqualify them from posting, on that basis.

    Even Chris, who lives there, you wish to prevent from posting. How long must one reside in a country and be intimately tied to it, before you deem it acceptable to comment, 22 months, 23 months, 5 years, 10 years, never??

    All your posts revolve around bashing the Brits and wanting to exclude them from commenting ( “bashing”) the South Americans or @5 “not only criticizes the country he chose to live in, but also the surrounding nations.” - let's be frank here, you mean, Argentina.

    Sorry, too bad, that's what free discussion is for. If you don't like it or you disagree with it - feel free to refute it !

    Lastly, Stevie, you are indeed a hypocrit. You do not want Chris to comment because he is an immigrant to Uruguay, and you do not wish the Falklanders (South Atlantic residents) or the Brits to comment on Uruguay because they do not live in that country, yet you feel free to do so.
    Sorry, by your own argument, if you are not a long term resident either, you are not entitled any more than they are.

    Dec 25th, 2012 - 09:18 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • redpoll

    @28 ynsere
    No Nation which values its hard won independence and sovreignty unless it is completely supine will fail to react to an implied or actual threat of invasion of its terretory. A policy of appeasement has never worked unless it has been used to buy time for alliances to be formed against the threat
    Unfortunately Argentina has always been an expansionist power. Without going too far back into history the unprovoked invasion of the Falkland Islands 30 years ago was an example. In the case of the Beagle Channel dispute with Chile as far as I recall Argentina rejected three distinct international arbitrations as they were not to thier liking. If Argentina had won in the Falklands the Chileans would have been thier next target, something the chilenos were well aware of. During the 82 conflict Argentina maintained its alpine troops on the chilean frontier and sent conscripts from the tropical provinces of Corrientes and Missiones to the Falklands. instead Why? Preliminary to step two if Argentina had won the 82 war
    In times of conflict the enemy of my enemy is my friend. Pinochet was a disgusting dictator but so was Stalin in WW2 and you can look up Churchills remarks in the House of Commons to that effect when the Allies included the Soviet union whose troops fought magnificently. ( If they didnt it was the punishment battalions for them)
    I didnt like the Thatcher style of government but South America has a lot to thank her for. After winning in 82, all the military governments were toppled like dominoes and democracy was restored
    As to these Anarchists/National Socialists/Lenininists/ McCarthyites/BNP who post on these blogs, Was Quatch ist dass?
    If you dont reply to them, thier withered little plums will wither on the vine to mix metaphors, so just ignore them and lets get on with some intelligent discussion

    Dec 25th, 2012 - 02:09 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • ynsere

    Redpoll @ 30
    I'd never thought of Argentine post-Falkland plans in this light, but suscribed to the theory that they kept their crack mountain troops on the Chilean border in case of an attack by this country. You may well be right, dominance of SA has always beeen at the centre of Argentine illusion.
    Regarding this Stevie person, I believe all posters telling easily proved lies about Uruguay should be shown up. Many other posters have no idea and may believe them. Opinions sure; outright lies about facts, no. We've seen too many of the latter from our present government, and Uruguayans are increasingly aware of them.

    Dec 25th, 2012 - 03:17 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • redpoll

    @31 Ysere I dont think Stevie is irredemable. She has just swallowed the Argentine line of hostility against our paisito initiated by Peron 50 years ago. We Uruguayans are educated so instead of throwing bosta at him/her lets see through polite and reasoned agument we can change her opinion of our country. Damn it, quite few Argentines really like living in our country and even she quite likes coming over to the beaches
    As to our present govt I would agree. A bunch of useless wimps more interested in cultivating marijuana than getting to grips with the real problems of our country

    Dec 25th, 2012 - 05:01 pm - Link - Report abuse 0

Commenting for this story is now closed.
If you have a Facebook account, become a fan and comment on our Facebook Page!