YPFB awards biodiesel project without tender and experts see irregularities

YPFB awards biodiesel project without tender and experts see irregularities

Page Seven / La Paz

The Bolivian Fiscal Oilfields (YPFB) awarded the $387.5 million contract directly and without bidding for the execution of the construction project of three biofuel plants to the subsidiary YPFB Refinación and experts observe irregularities.

The ULG-SCZ 022/2022 contract was signed on March 29 by YPFB’s manager of engineering, projects and infrastructure ai, Bruno Marcelo Terceros, as contractor, and Julio César Gandarillas Mendoza, from YPFB Refinación, legal representative of the contracting firm. .

“The purpose of this contract is to execute the biofuel plant implementation project: Biodiesel Plant I (Item 1), Biodiesel Plant II (Item 2), Renewable Biodiesel Plant (HVO) (Item 3) and complementary studies for production and commercialization of biofuels (Item 4), within the framework of the contract, technical specifications and others”.

The total amount for the execution of the project is 2,697,341,715.7 bolivianos or its equivalent of 387.5 million dollars. This amount corresponds to the economic proposal awarded from the contracting process that is part of the contract. The estimated maximum term for the execution of all the project works is 48 months.

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The president of YPFB, Armin Dorgathen, said yesterday that news on biofuels is expected in the following days.

Sector analyst Hugo del Granado noted that YPFB cannot sign this type of contract with its affiliated companies due to the amount of investment required by this project. He explained that if the subsidiary companies wish to participate, they must compete in a tender with other interested companies.

“The project is three hundred million dollars and for what reason does YPFB hire a subsidiary to face this project? It should be tendered and that its subsidiary compete transparently with other companies that can offer better conditions, that is absolutely irregular. There had to be a public tender to choose the best offer and for the population to know about it”, observed the analyst.

In addition, a project of this nature had to be awarded to a company with experience in the development of biofuels. “YPFB Refinación manages refineries and is not competent to carry out work that it does not know, as in this case, to process fuels of vegetable origin,” he indicated.

Another irregularity, he said, is that the contract is signed by subordinate officials of the two companies and the president of YPFB, Armin Dorgathen, does not appear in the document.

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Former Hydrocarbons Minister Álvaro Ríos said that YPFB signed this contract with YPFB Refining because through this company the purchasing and adjudication processes can be more agile as it is an SA

The state-owned company is also betting on biofuels given the drop in oil and condensate production. “We cannot comment more because the capacity of the plants is not known, what raw material they are going to use, at what cost it will be purchased, there is no information and we cannot say if it is beneficial or not,” he remarked.

Another expert who preferred to keep his name confidential, said that with this contract, at first glance, YPFB transfers the responsibility of bidding for the plants to Refining, without prior feasibility studies and “everything is opaque and irregular.”

YPFB in a statement clarified that the award to YPFB Refinación does not violate any rule, nor does it present any irregularity and adheres to the current legal framework and the contracting regulations of Supreme Decree 29506. It establishes that when two calls were declared void, to direct contracting. “This regulation indicates that you can directly contract all the affiliated and subsidiary companies of YPFB, and the public and strategic companies in accordance with Supreme Decree 181 of Basic Norms”, he specifies.

He assures that YPFB Refinación is the most qualified company to develop the biodiesel project, since it has state-of-the-art technology and experience in refining crude oil and condensate.

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