The Bolivian government nationalised on June 2 the TR-Holdings company, which owns 50% of the stocks of the Transredes company, consolidating the process of nationalising Bolivia's gas industry begun on May 1, 2006, the Bolivian News Agency (ABI) reported.
TR-Holdings, which was controlled by the Ashmore investment group, was nationalised via presidential decree. President Evo Morales issued the decree at a Transredes plant in Santa Cruz.
Morales revealed that the transnational oil corporation had conspired against his government, citing reports that proved the company had maintained contacts with opposition provincial leaders.
This process, via which the state-owned gas company YPFB now controls almost 98% of Transredes property, where the Anglo-Dutch Shell Gas Latin America company also had interests, was "transcendental", according to hydrocarbons minister Carlos Villegas.
During the implementation of the decree, Morales announced that he would continue with the re-nationalisation of all companies privatised in the 1990s, to fulfill the "clamorous demand of the Bolivian people".
The takeover of Transredes is one more step in the process of nationalising the entire hydrocarbons industry, via which the country's income from the industry increased from US$300 million in 2005 to $1.93 billion last year.
[Reprinted from June 2 Prensa Latina.]