LA PAZ - Bolivian President Evo Morales said South Korean conglomerate Samsung must finish construction of an ammonium and urea plant by the July 2016 deadline specified in its contract.
"Samsung and the supervisor must fulfill the relevant contract. That means delivering (the plant) in July of next year. I have full confidence and trust in the company," Morales said Thursday while inspecting the project in the central town of Bulo Bulo.
The project is currently more than 50 percent complete, the leftist president said, adding that "we're going to be demanding."
The pace of construction is behind the initial projections of Bolivian state-owned energy firm YPFB, which estimated it would be completed in October of this year and begin operating in the first half of 2016.
Samsung started building the plant in September 2013.
The plant will process natural gas to make ammonium, a raw material in the production of urea, an organic compound widely used in fertilizers.
The Bolivian government is investing some $860 million to build the plant, a record outlay by the Andean nation for an industrialization process.
The plant is projected to produce 2,000 tons of urea per day, enabling the country to fully replace fertilizer imports. Roughly 20 percent of the urea produced by the plant will be destined to meet domestic demand, while the remainder will be exported to neighboring countries.
The Bulo Bulo facility will be the first petrochemical plant installed in Bolivia for the industrialization of natural gas.