More Control over the Energy Market

Through the creation of four new state-owned companies, President Ortega seeks to control the exploration and exploitation of oil in Nicaragua, as well as the import, storage, distribution and marketing of gas and fuels.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

With the approval of the law initiatives, the government seeks to transfer the control that Alba de Nicaragua S.A. used to have in this market. (Albanisa), which was sanctioned by the U.S. because of its links with Petróleos de Venezuela, and Distribuidora Nicaragüense de Petróleo (DNP), which was also sanctioned by the same country, in this case for benefiting the Ortega family with non-competitive contracts.

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The initiatives approved urgently are the Law creating the Nicaraguan Gas Company (Enigas), the Law creating the Nicaraguan Company for hydrocarbon storage and distribution facilities (Eniplanh), the Law creating the national company for the exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbons (ENIH) and the Law creating the Nicaraguan company for the import, transport and commercialization of hydrocarbons (Enicom).

A statement from the National Assembly dated February 11, 2020, explains that it "approved the creation of four decentralized state companies related to the management of hydrocarbons that will guarantee efficient and quality service for the Nicaraguan people."

Azucena Castillo, a former trade minister and opposition deputy, told Laprensa.com.ni that "... It is clear that the purpose of the four new state-owned companies, and that they are all in the same line of business of hydrocarbons and their derivatives, is so that the same government group that managed DNP, Albanisa and all its Albanian companies, can continue to control the fuel and electric energy market, but now from state-owned companies."

Castillo added that "... We must examine the texts of the laws with more precision, but what they supposedly propose is that the State competes in the fuel market as if Nicaragua were a big market, but they also talk about the model of having the State, through these four companies, in association with private companies, but with the business being managed by officials of this government, we know that it will be those who have been managing Albanisa's companies and its subsidiaries all these years."



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