January 16, 2013
The Washington Post/AP, 01/15/2013
Recent rains have brought some relief to the depleted reservoirs of Brazil’s hydroelectric plants but have done little to dispel concerns over the country’s ability to fulfill its energy demands for the year.
A hotter than usual summer and lack of rain have caused water levels at hydroelectric dams in most of the country to drop to a third of their capacity. The levels are similar to those registered in 2001, when rationing was imposed and blackouts occurred.
The government has said Brazil will not resort to energy rationing because the country has thermal power plants that can be activated.
September 18, 2012
The 11th round of auctions for oil exploration rights in Brazil will be held in 2013, if Congress passes the new royalties law, Brazil’s Energy Minister Edison Lobao said on Tuesday.
The 174 blocks to be offered for exploration in Brazil’s first auction since 2008 will be detailed in coming days, but most of them are located on land, Loboa said at a news conference.
He said he expects the final component of Brazil’s new oil law to pass Congress this year. Brazil is reforming the way it divides lucrative oil royalties among states, which have delayed passage of the law for years now.
March 26, 2012
Rodrigo Orihuela – Bloomberg, 03/25/2012
Brazil’s government is analyzing whether to allow Petroleo Brasileiro SA (PETR4) to boost fuel prices, O Estado de Sao Paulo reported, citing an interview with Mines and Energy Minister Edison Lobao.
A price increase is more likely because inflation is lower this year than in previous years, Lobao told the Sao Paulo-based daily newspaper. The decision is up to President Dilma Rousseff, Lobao said.
March 2, 2012
Maria Luiza Rabello and Juan Pablo Spinetto – Bloomberg, 03/01/2012
Vale SA (VALE5) and the Brazilian government are close to an agreement on a dispute over unpaid royalty payments that may reach 7 billion reais ($4.09 billion), Mines and Energy Minister Edison Lobao said.
The Brazilian government is analyzing documentation provided by Vale, the world’s largest iron-ore exporter, and expects to reach a conclusion on the amount of overdue payments, Lobao told reporters in Brasilia today. The amount owed, which was 4 billion reais in 2008, may reach 7 billion reais including penalties and interest, he said.
Vale, based in Rio de Janeiro, has been fighting tax claims from the government amid growth in its exports and rising minerals prices. The company and Brazil’s National Mineral Production Department failed to reach an agreement by an initial October deadline. Talks were extended an extra 60 days earlier this week to bring an end to the dispute.
January 10, 2012
Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff signed the decree for the construction of five new hydroelectric dams in the Amazon basin and readies for a renewed attack from domestic and international environmentalists against the project.
The five will be built along the Tapajós River in the state of Para to which access will only be by helicopter, to preserve the Amazon rain forest and there will be no constructions in the surrounding area to the dams, announced Mines and Energy minister Edison Lobao.
“This new model of hydroelectric dams is almost like a science fiction film, it reminds us of Avatar” said Lobao in direct reference to film director James Cameron.
December 5, 2011
U.S.-based Chevron Corp. will have to leave Brazil if it fails to comply with the agreement it reached to deal with the damage caused by an oil spill last month off the coast of Rio de Janeiro state, Energy and Mines Minister Edison Lobao said.
“The company has already been given a very strong penalty for what it did and it has been suspended from engaging in new drilling in Brazil, even if it is the second-largest oil company in the world,” Lobao told reporters in Teresina, the capital of the northeastern state of Piaui.
Chevron must pay a fine of 50 million reais (about $28 million) levied by officials and took responsibility for the environmental damage caused by the spill, whose extent has still not been determined, the energy minister said.
October 26, 2011
AP/Miami Herald, 10/26/2011
Brazil’s energy minister is defending his government’s boycott of a meeting with an international rights group over a controversial Amazon dam.
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights earlier this year urged the Brazilian government to halt work on the massive Belo Monte hydroelectric dam.
The commission and other critics say it will displace thousands of Indians and cause environmental damage.
October 18, 2011
Diana Kinch – Dow Jones, 10/18/2011
Brazilian Senator Aecio Neves has proposed to the country’s Senate new legislation for Brazil’s mining sector that would boost royalties for all minerals to 5% of companies’ gross sales, rivaling the government’s own plans for a new mine royalties law.
Neves’ bill is more advanced than the government’s plans for new legislation and will move to a first Senate committee vote next week after a public hearing later Tuesday, Brasilia-based mining sector sources said.
Mining royalties in Brazil are among the world’s lowest, although mining companies have a heavy burden of other taxes. According to Brazilian Mining Institute Ibram, royalties payable on sales of iron ore are currently 2%, on phospates 3% and potash 4.5%. For some industrial minerals, Neves’ proposal would quintuple existing mineral royalties.
September 16, 2011
Focus News Agency/AFP, 09/15/2011
Brazil is planning to expand its nuclear energy output by building five more reactors to augment the two currently in operation, Energy Minister Edison Lobao said Thursday, AFP reports.
“Despite the recent incidents in Japan, Brazil is sticking to its policy of expanding its nuclear program,” Lobao said in Rio, according to a report carried by Brazil’s state news agency.
Lobao did not provide any timeline for the construction of the new reactors.
June 6, 2011
Reese Ewing – Reuters, 06/06/2011
Mergers and acquisitions have transformed Brazil’s once family-owned sugar and ethanol industry into a smaller number of big, professional and often international corporations since the 2008 credit crisis.
Although deep-pocketed milling groups are now resuming some investments in a limited number of greenfield projects to expand crushing capacity, takeovers are still seen as the easiest way to enter and grow in the cane sector, which still bears the scars of the global financial crisis.
Many milling groups and investors that had highly leveraged their expansion plans in the heady days of 2008, when oil reached $147 a barrel, were devastated when global credit system locked up later that year.