QCOSTARICA – Last week, the regulatory authority announced another increase in fuel prices that would come into effect by the end of this week. However, that news may have been shared prematurely, for the Autoridad Reguladora de los Servicios Públicos (ARESEP) began the process of an increase in fuels to compensate more than ¢2.924 billion for the collective agreement of the Refinadora Costarricense de Petróleo (RECOPE) – the Costa Rican oil refinery that refines nothing, reports La Nación.
The compensation will be done through an adjustment in gasoline and diesel prices that is already in process, which could see prices at the pumps just as much as ¢200 colones per liter.
This is due to a Constitutional Court (commonly known as Sala IV) ruling that reversed a decision made by the current head of the ARESEP, Juan Manuel Quesada, when he was Mayor of Energy of Aresep, in 2015, when in the second half of that year, Quesada decided to exclude items from the RECOPE collective agreement from fuel rates.
RECOPE workers presented an appeal, on May 22, 2019, that was supported by the Constitutional Court.
RECOPE has admitted that historically it finances its collective agreement through ordinary adjustments in the price of fuels.
Carolina Mora, spokesperson for the ARESEP, explained that they will abide by what the courts indicate, the regulator opening this Monday an ordinary tariff study ex officio to comply with the resolution of Sala IV.
RECOPE announced on Thursday (October 20), a proposal for a reduction in fuel prices that would range between ¢28 and ¢56. However, the Court ruling will most likely change that, turning a reduction into an increase.
The refinery assures that the increase in the price of fuel is due to ARESEP’s mistake.
Currently, a liter of super gasoline costs ¢846 at the pumps, regular ¢807 and diesel ¢865.