Brazil to create natural gas transport operator

May 11, 2005 02:00 AM

Brazil's federal government plans to create a national operator for the country's natural gas pipeline network to control transport as part of new legislation for the sector, a mines and energy spokesperson told.
The operator would have a similar role to the national power grid operator ONS which decides when and where power generators should inject power into the country's 84,000 MW transmission network, the spokesperson said.

The gas bill will also create what the ministry calls a secondary gas market in which gas-fired generators will be allowed to sell the gas they are not using to generate power, giving them a chance to increase revenues. A special trading chamber would oversee the secondary market.
There is no schedule for voting on the gas bill in congress, but it could be before year-end, the spokesperson said. The government planned to present the bill to congress at the end of last year but delayed doing so. A spokesperson said that ministry officials needed more time to look at details of the bill to make it as far reaching as possible.

Gas distribution companies and trade groups have continually lobbied in favour of the bill. The new legislation will need to be approved by the end of 2007 due to projected higher gas demand. Diesel-fired power plants must all be converted to also burn gas by mid-2007.
Over 3,000 km of gas pipelines that federal energy company Petrobras is building to link the south-eastern and north-eastern regions are also scheduled to start commercial operations that year.

Source: BNamericas
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