A major corruption scandal is unfolding in Uruguay with a pet project from former president Jose Mujica, which he tried to implement during his mandate, 2010/2015, but failed with accumulated losses of at least US$ 300 million.
A massive blackout left tens of millions of people without electricity in Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and parts of Chile and southern Brazil on Sunday. The Argentine president called it an “unprecedented” failure in the countries' interconnected power grid.
New Year has taken off in Uruguay with a raft of utilities' rates increases which includes power, fuels, drinking water, telecommunications, urban bus fares, plus extra taxes on tobacco and gambling. Inflation in the twelve months to November was 6.30%.
Japan's Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. announced on Wednesday that the company has reached a basic agreement with Gas Sayago, a joint venture between Uruguay’s state oil company ANCAP and state power company UTE, to continue the floating storage and re-gasification unit (FSRU) project led by Gas Sayago and being built in Montevideo.
Uruguayan President Tabare Vazquez announced on Monday a controversial plan for 12.37 billion in infrastructure investment over the next four years. Two-thirds of the investment will come from the government, Vazquez told a news conference. Where the other third was to come was not confirmed.
The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) continues to support the expansion of renewable energy in Uruguay through two financial packages, totaling 216 million dollars, which were approved for the private sector to finance part of the construction of the Colonia Airas and Valentines wind farms and their related works.
Despite a decade of sustained growth Uruguay's fiscal deficit reached 2.3% of GDP last year, which is an improvement over 2012, when it reached 2.8%, but above the government's target of 2.1%. In money terms this means the budget red was equivalent to 1.154bn dollars, including 350 million dollar losses from government owned companies.
The Uruguayan government has set its sights on becoming one of the world's leading wind power producers as part of plans to produce 90% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2015, although much of the plan is still on the drawing board.
Uruguay’s state-owned power company UTE, is spending over seven million dollars per day to contain the deficit originated in poor rainfall that threatens production from the country’s four main hydroelectric generating plants.
Uruguay and Brazil agreed this week to jointly set up a 100MW wind farm in Uruguayan territory demanding an investment of 200 million dollars and which should become operational by 2013.