A number of tanker lorries carrying liquefied gas seized for five days by Argentine customs as they were to cross the border to Paraguay will be released, as reported on Thursday by a corporate representative who took part in the negotiations.
This is taking place a week after some barges with fuel were also held by Argentina and then released, days before Paraguay cut off the electricity supply to its neighbouring country.
“After reaching a consensus at the meeting this morning, and based on everybody’s good will, the first four lorries containing propane will now be released”, stated Gustavo Lucero, president of the Capegas Paraguayan Chamber of Gas.
“All lorries will be released in the course of today or tomorrow”, he added. “We hope Argentine authorities meet the commitments undertaken”.
The seizure occurred on Saturday and by Thursday there were 22 lorries halted at the crossing between the Argentine town of Puerto Pilcomayo and the neighbouring Itá Enramada, without Argentine authorities commenting on this issue so far. The teamsters’ union warned about the risks of keeping this type of cargo in the heat of the area.
“We regret the Argentine government’s attitude”, said earlier vice president Pedro Alliana in a radio interview. “It could be retaliation so we give in at the negotiations over (the hydroelectric dam in) Yacyretá”.
He meant the decision by Paraguay to cut off the electricity supply from the bi-national station on the Paraná River.
The government alleged a debt of 150 million dollars, although Buenos Aires took it as a reprisal for a toll (US$1.47 per tonne) being charged at the Paraguay-Paraná waterway headed for the River Plate, which led to a one-week seizure of a convoy of barges, including one with 30 million litres of fuel.
Alliana assured that the negotiations were underway and an agreement on Yacyretá was in its infancy.