What new and innovative energy strategies and initiatives are being explored in Uruguay?

KREIMERMAN: We are undertaking many new initiatives in order to diversify the energy matrix. In this regard, Uruguay has many advantages because we have very good wind, sun, and water. For this reason, we are developing more and more wind energy, and other new and clean energy forms. Secondly, Uruguay has very good opportunities in fossil fuels as well because the preliminary data for prospecting for oil and gas are very good both onshore and offshore. Our country is looking to jointly develop the new energy and develop the exploration and production of new sources of energy.

What opportunities exist for international companies in Uruguay?

KREIMERMAN: For the future, there are going to be many companies that are interested in our country because the preliminary data for the reserves the country may have in oil and gas are very good. At the moment, we have opened Uruguay Round II and we have invited many international companies that are buying the concessions available in Uruguay Round II. We are looking to attract foreign companies because we have the possibilities, the resources, and the data that are very good. The other attractions for international companies are first related to the quality of the country, the quality of life, and a good environment. We have established a good set of rules and we are going to keep these rules constant in the future. Second, we have the law for promotion of investment that companies can use. I think the special structure of this has been well thought out to account for the needs of the country and the needs of the private companies.

What kinds of relationships have been formed between Uruguay and countries in the Middle East with regard to energy?

KREIMERMAN: We are talking with the Emir of Qatar and with many of the other Ministers from the region in order to develop new possibilities for the country. We know Qatar is a very strong country and is leading in many fields. For this reason, we have had many good conversations in Qatar. There is a very important political link between Uruguay and Qatar; both countries are small, both countries are good articulators for their regions, and both countries are looking to cooperate not inly in the oil field, but in other parts of the economy such as food, exports, etc.

What alternative energy sources are being used in Uruguay?

KREIMERMAN: We are on track, in energy, to achieving at least 1/3 of the potential capacity of the entire country. We are very strong in biomass because we are a natural country. We are an agricultural and forested country. We have new industries like IT, pharmaceuticals, and so on but we are strongly based in agriculture, livestock, and forestry. Last but not least, we have solar energy, thermal energy not photo-voltaic. In this we are developing very well. These three sources are not new in the country, but what is new is the quantity that we are implementing these forms at at the moment in order to change from a strong dependency on fossil fuels. This is very important for our country and very important for the world.