Brazil utilities baulk at government plan for cheaper electricity

Leonardo Goy – Reuters, 11/09/2012

Refusal by large Brazilian power utilities to renew their concessions on the government’s terms has put in doubt the viability of President Dilma Rousseff’s plan to lower electricity costs to spur economic growth.

Minas Gerais state electricity company Cemig decided not to renew concessions for three of its hydroelectric dams that produce 2,500 megawatts (MW).

The Sao Paulo state utility Cesp and power transmission company Cteep are also expected to reject the extension of their concessions in exchange for its commitment to provide cheaper electricity.

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Venezuela, Brazil to sign deals on oil, power

AFP, 04/28/10

Hugo Chavez and his Brazilian counterpart Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva will sign cooperation deals worth at least two billion dollars on oil and power generation, the Venezuelan president said.

“We are going to sign a package of agreements following what Lula was talking about in Caracas: speeding up the pace” of cooperation on Wednesday, Chavez said in a meeting of his cabinet broadcast on VTV state television.

The leaders will sign one pact worth two billion dollars to build in northeastern Venezuela a petrochemical plant to process polypropylene with Brazil’s Brasquen, Chavez said.

He and Lula will sign other agreements on electricity — as Venezuela confronts lingering shortages — as well as finance, farming, and cars.

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Petrobras set to launch operations at national integrated gas pipeline

Business News Americas, 03/25/10

Brazilian hydrocarbons regulator ANP has authorized federal energy group Petrobras (NYSE: PBR) to start operations at its Gasene gas pipeline that connects the country’s northeastern and southeastern regions, Petrobras project executive Marcelo Restum said at a press conference.

“We also received this week [Brazilian environment regulator] Ibama’s operation license for the pipeline,” the executive added.

The Gasene pipeline will be inaugurated by Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva on March 26.

The 1,387km pipeline starts in Rio de Janeiro and finishes in the northeastern state of Bahia.

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Shell makes good in biofuels promises

William MacNamara and Jonathan Wheatley-Financial Times, 02/01/10

Royal Dutch Shell has spent years banging its drum about its commitment to “second-generation” biofuels – the sort derived from straw or crop waste that could one day make petroleum obsolete.

It limited its involvement to distributing rather than producing first-generation biofuels. Monday’s plan to create a $12bn (£7.5bn) ethanol-producing joint venture with Cosan of Brazil may be remembered as the day Shell became serious about biofuels.

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Brazil Petrobras bets heavy on U.S. Gulf with Devon energy deal

Jeff Fick-The Wall Street Journal, 01/25/10

Brazilian state-run energy giant Petroleo Brasileiro (PBR, PETR4.BR) decided to place a big bet in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, despite a recent retraction in the company’s international investments.

Petrobras, as the company is also known, confirmed Monday it had exercised its right to buy a 50% stake in the Cascade field from partner Devon Energy (DVN). Petrobras was already lead operator at Cascade, with a 50% share.

The deal is a high-risk, high-reward play for South America’s largest oil company, although Petrobras is flush with cash after raising more than $30 billion last year to fund its investment plans.

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Brazil opens world’s first ethanol-fired power plant

Denise Luna-Reuters, 01/19/10

Brazil on Tuesday opened the world’s first ethanol-fueled power plant in an effort by the South American biofuels giant to increase the global use of ethanol and boost its clean power generation.

State-run oil giant Petrobras (PETR4.SA)(PBR.N) and General Electric Co (GE.N), which helped design the plant, are betting that increased use of ethanol generation by green-conscious countries will boost demand for the product.

Brazil, the top global ethanol exporter, is already in talks with Japan to develop biofuels power generation there.

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Brazil girds for massive offshore oil extraction

Juan Forero-The Washington Post, 12/07/2009

Everything about the shipyard here is colossal — the 4,000-man workforce, the billions sunk into it in capital costs, the half-finished 10-story-high production platforms.

But then, so is the challenge facing Brazil’s state-controlled energy company, Petrobras: developing a group of newly discovered deep-sea oil fields that energy analysts say will catapult this country into the ranks of the world’s petro-powers. The oil pools are 200 miles out in the Atlantic and more than four miles down, under freezing seas, rock and a heavy cap of salt.

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