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Presidents of Paraguay, Brazil to meet this month

Saturday, December 4th 2021 - 09:01 UTC
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Paraguay and Brazil build bridges between the two countries but are still way apart on Itaipú rates Paraguay and Brazil build bridges between the two countries but are still way apart on Itaipú rates

Paraguay's President Mario Abdo Benítez Friday confirmed he would meet with his Brazilian colleague Jair Bolsonaro on December 13 on the construction site of the bridge between Carmelo Peralta and Porto Murtinho. Both leaders are expected to further discuss Itaipu's energy rate for 2022.

”On December 13 we will sign with President Bolsonaro in the distant Carmelo Peralta with Puerto Murtinho (Brazil), in a few days we will be there,“ Abdo said during an official event in Caazapá Friday, after doubts had been raised rergarding the encounter.

Both governments have until December 31 to reach an agreement and according to press reports the gap between what Paraguay seeks and what Brazil wants is still sizeable.

Abdo had traveled to Brasilia last week to hold a meeting with Bolsonaro and his team to discuss the issue but came back empty-handed.

Paraguay wants to maintain the 2020 and 2021 rate of US $ 22.60 per kW of monthly power contracted, to take advantage of the resources that this generates in the strengthening of the electrical infrastructure.

But Brazil is invoking Annex C of the applicable Treaty and seeks to establish a new rate at US $ 18 / kW per month, since the debt for the construction of the hydroelectric plant will be reduced and consequently the rate should be lowered.

Abdo himself admitted in Brasilia that it was a work meeting, where they were able to advance. ”We have been in an intermission room to continue advancing in all the conversations.” he had said at the time.

Abdo and Bolsonaro are to lay the cornerstone of the new future bridge between the two countries, so that the contract can be signed and works begin.

The Paraguayan President also stressed that two international bridges were in full swing after advances were announced regarding the future Bridge between Presidente Franco and Foz de Iguaçu.

“They are the first two international bridges in the entire democratic era; There has been no connectivity for 30 years,” Abdo said in Caazapá.

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