Brazilian energy for Argentina
Brazil will export electricity to Argentina in the coming months helping to overcome the expected winter shortages, confirmed visiting Brazilian Energy and Mining Minister Vilma Rouseff in Buenos Aires.
"We're in the final stages of discussions regarding conditions under which Brazil will export up to 500 Megawatts, through the interconnection system, beginning next May", indicated Ms. Rouseff recalling that in 1999 and 2001 it was Argentina that helped Brazil overcome a serious energy shortage.
Ms. Rouseff added that regulatory aspects of the operation are still pending such as "for how long will the supply last, transport costs and although we're inclined to admit an energy compensation system".
When Argentina was the supplier 1,000 Megawatts were exported to Brazil with the potential for another 1,000 but insufficient transmission lines impeded taking full advantage. 500 Megawatts are sufficient to cover the energy demand of a city as Porto Alegre in south Brazil with two million inhabitants.
Ms. Rouseff also revealed that Brazil and Argentina are considering the participation of Petrobras, the Brazilian government oil company, in the building of the northeast natural gas pipeline that will be supplied by Bolivia and extending to five northern provinces of Argentina, with the possible interconnection to the main Brazilian pipeline system.
Apparently the growing gap between supply and demand for energy in Argentina and limitations to the natural gas pipeline network were considered in the recent Rio do Janeiro summit between presidents Nestor Kirchner and Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
The rebound of the Argentine economy plus the freezing of public utilities rates has created an energy shortage forcing Argentina to resume the daily import of 3,5 million cubic meters of natural gas from Bolivia, plus cancelling the supply of energy to neighbouring Uruguay. Bolivian natural gas is expected to begin arriving next June.
Ms. Rouseff highlighted the excellent moment for advancing in the bilateral integration of Argentina and Brazil.
"World experience indicates that there's no stable regional integration without physical integration of infrastructure".