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Latest News - October 2011

October 13, 2011
Uruguay to import more fuel due to labor strike
Source: Reuters

 * Ancap plans 17 pct increase in fuel imports in response

Oct 12 (Reuters) - Uruguay's state energy company Ancap will import $100 million more in fuels due to a strike that has halted maintenance work since Monday at the country's only oil refinery, a top official said on Wednesday.

Ancap's La Teja refinery will be closed for maintenance until early December, forcing the company to rely on imports to meet demands of motorists, farmers and the state electricity company UTE. [ID:nS1E78S1BA]

Work on the refinery, located near Montevideo, was interrupted when metallurgical workers went on a nationwide pay strike, prompting Ancap to increase expected fuel imports by 17 percent to about $700 million.

"We're going to have a delay in the (refinery's) reopening, which means we have to take steps to buy more fuel," Ancap director Juan Gomez told Reuters. "We have bought $100 million more, securing supplies for another 20 days at least."

Last month, Gomez estimated Ancap would import products for about $600 million to December.

That included about 60,000 cubic meters of liquefied petroleum gas, 130,000 cubic meters of gasoline, 470,000 cubic meters of diesel and 260,000 cubic meters of fuel oil.

On top of the additional $100 million, the company loses money each day the plant remains shut.

"Every day the plant is not refining costs about $100,000 to $150,000," Gomez said, adding the reopening could be delayed by a few days. (Reporting by Malena Castaldi; Writing by Luis Andres Henao; Editing by Bob Burgdorfer)



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