Venezuela watch: CAF agreement, back pay, material confiscation

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Friday, August 8, 2014

Venezuela and Latin American development bank CAF signed a non-refundable technical cooperation agreement designed to improve the nation's management of its investments.

The deal will provide funding for a six-month study of the nation's current investments and projects, with an emphasis on the electricity sector, Venezuelan power minister Jesse Chacón said in a press release issued by state electricity firm Corpoelec.

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Venezuela experiences frequent blackouts on the national SEN grid, which critics blame on a lack of maintenance and investment in new energy projects.

Speaking to press on Friday, local public policy center Ifedec's director, Pedro Pablo Fernández, said Venezuela's chronic electricity problems put the nation's future at risk.

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Venezuela's central government provided electricity sector workers with back pay for May, June and July, state news agency AVN reported.

The move follows protests over unpaid benefits and unsafe work conditions.

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Venezuelan authorities have confiscated 44t of "strategic electric materials" in Cojedes and Carabobo states, Corpoelec said in a press release.

In Cojedes, authorities stopped four vehicles carrying 14t of electrical cables and connectors, and in Carabobo authorities confiscated 30t of material including cables, batteries and conductors.

Authorities also detained a Corpoelec worker for alleged extortion involving a contractor.

Venezuela's strict currency and import-export regulation has limited the inflow of foreign materials and equipment.

BNamericas will host its fourth LatAm Power Generation Summit in Santiago, Chile, on August 13-14. Click here to download the agenda.