Explanation sought on Ad Astra deal

A lawmaker said she wants an explanation from the central government on why the Ad Astra Rocket Co. broke off participation in a joint venture on hydrogen motor fuel.

The deal was with Refinadora Costarricense de Petróleo, the state petroleum monopoly. Ad Astra, run by former U.S. and Costa Rican astronaut Franklin Chang Diaz, said that the state firm stalled for seven months on the project.

Sandra Piszk of the opposition Partido Liberación Nacional raised the issue in the legislature Wednesday.  She noted that the petroleum monopoly’s board of directors was named by Luis Guillermo Solís, the president.

She said that Ad Astra, the most innovated company in the country, is considering investing elsewhere.

The idea of the joint venture was to create a hydrogen-based clean fuel for vehicles.

Ad Astra shares are traded in the Costa Rican exchange.

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