Bolivia worries about Brazil's shift in energy policy

Jan 25, 2003 01:00 AM

The Bolivian government is concerned about the announcement made by Eletrobras, saying they would prioritise hydroelectric power in Brazil. Hydrocarbons Minister Fernando Illanes said, however, that Petrobras will have the final say, and they intend to motivate thermoelectricity.
Eletrobras President Luiz Pinguelli Rosa threw out the possibility that power plants could become a part of the energy matrix and said: "It is irrational to consider this could happen in a hydroelectric country."

Pinguelli Rosa announced a change in the Brazilian energy policies and said that the price of gas would be renegotiated with Petrobras. He added, however, that thermoelectric plants were not a priority in his administration. Petrobras developed an installation plan for thermoelectric plants, which must receive Bolivian natural gas.
Pinguelli Rosa's decision, however, could decrease the neighbouring country's demand for the energy source even more. That is why Minister Illanes expressed his concern, although he did explain that Eletrobras is essentially a hydroelectric company, while Petrobras is powered by thermoelectric projects.

Finally, the hydrocarbons minister spoke of a dispute involving Eletrobras and Petrobras; nevertheless he said that the latter was more "powerful".

Source: BBC Monitoring Americas
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