The upcoming elections in Bolivia will be crucial for the development of industries such as natural gas and lithium in the country, Kallanish Energy learns.
As the interim government prepares to leave, candidates increase their campaigns for the Oct. 18 election set to replace the former communist leader Evo Morales.
Following allegations of fraud in his victory last year, which would have been his fourth mandate as president of Bolivia, Morales fled the country and exiled in Argentina.
The future of natural resources development and policies in the South American nation will now be dictated by the upcoming government. The pole could swing from protectionism and nationalization of assets, to the privatization and development of industries. These two resources are expected to play an important role in the energy transition, as the world decarbonizes and electrifies.
Candidate of the Movement Toward Solicialism party (MAS), Luis Arce, vows for resource sovereignty but has a more pragmatic approach than Morales. The former president nationalized the oil and gas industry, power generation and transmission, and mining sectors.
Candidate Carlos Mesa, who served as Bolivian president from 2003 to 2005, wants the private sector to take a leading position, enabling investment and development post-pandemic.
“Bolivia’s natural gas will be devoted to energy transition to power trucks and buses, while at the same time we develop hydrogen and petrochemical projects, properly assessed on a case-by-case basis,” the Arce’s campaign told the press.
Meanwhile, the Mesa campaign advocates for private investment in the lithium industry, limiting the state’s involvement and avoiding the trap created with gas.
Bolivia claims to have one of the world’s largest reserves of natural gas and lithium. Lower demand from Argentina and Brazil pre-Covid, alongside the negative impact of the pandemic on gas consumption, has put a lot of strain on Bolivian revenues.
This post appeared first on Kallanish Energy News.