Bolivian President Evo Morales has nationalised his country’s arm of the Spanish power company Red Electrica Unit.
Called TDE in Bolivia, Morales claims the firm was not investing enough in the country.
This is the latest in Bolivian nationalisations, where the state controls 80 per cent of electricity generated.
Plans to nationalise Spanish-owned YPF in Argentina last month caused a diplomatic row between the two countries.
Defending the decision, Morales said: “To clarify for national and international public opinion – this company used to be ours. We are nationalising what we used to own.”
Spain’s government is describing this latest nationalisation as “very different” to the situation with Argentina. Bolivia’s TDE is a much smaller company than YPF.
Spanish owners of TDE, Red Electrica Unit, say they regret the decision and will be seeking compensation.
The Bolivian government wants to put 100 per cent of electricity generation in the hands of the state – in line with its policy that basic services should not be provided by the private sector.