Pequiven Gains Independence from PDVSA

Venezuela's national assembly approved on Tuesday modifications to the 2002 petrochemicals law, effectively ending the dependence of state petrochemical company Pequiven on state oil firm PDVSA, a leading lawmaker told BNamericas. With the reform, "Pequiven becomes a company that will execute the petrochemicals policy in Venezuela without depending on any other company or being a subsidiary," according to lawmaker Pedro Jiménez, president of the assembly's energy and mines commission that promoted the reform. The Instituto Venezolano de Petroquímica (IVP), which was founded in 1956 as Venezuela's first state-owned petrochemicals entity, will receive the Pequiven shares from PDVSA. IVP has served little function since Pequiven's creation in 1977 but will now oversee the company's operations for the government. A provision that would have allowed the sale of up to 49% of the shares in Pequiven was eliminated, Jiménez said, ruling out any chance of the government selling a stake in the company while this law is in effect. "It was expressly prohibited that the shares in Pequiven be transferred in any fashion, they can't be privatized," he said. Jiménez was not aware of the law introducing some sort of price control for petrochemical products in Venezuela, but Pequiven president Saul Ameliach told BNamericas earlier this year that was to be one of the main goals of the reform. Ameliach specifically mentioned fertilizers such as urea, adding that the government would control the export of fertilizers. Ameliach's office said he is at an official function in Havana, Cuba and would start taking media questions about the new law next week.

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