Brazil imports up 195% in March on Garabi connection

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Demand on Uruguay's national SIN grid met by imports from Brazil registered at 107GWh in March, up 195% from the 36.2GWh imported in February, according to statistics from power regulator ADME.

Brazil imports represent 13% of the 824GWh total demand registered in March, compared with their 4.4% share of February's demand.

Imports from Brazil peaked in the final week of March, due to the initiation of imports via the Garabi frequency conversion station on the Brazil-Argentine border on March 23, in addition to cross-border imports via northeastern town Rivera.

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Brazil's energy and mines ministry (MME) authorized Tradener to export up to 500MW capacity and respective associated energy to Uruguay via Garabi through year-end under an MOU signed between Brazil and Uruguay, MME said.

During March, Uruguay did not make any power imports from Argentina, due in part to fuel limitations restricting that country's generation capacity.

ADME's statistics showed total hydro generation at 300GWh over the month, making up 42% of the generation mix compared to February's 33% share.

Generation from the bi-national 1.9GW Salto Grande dam on the Argentina-Uruguay border came in at 143GWh, up 60% from 89.5GWh in February. A further 157GWh was produced from UTE's three dams on the Río Negro river.

Meanwhile, thermo plants provided 52% of the country's generation mix or 367GWh. The figure was down 13% from 420GWh generated in February, with problems at UTE's Batlle thermo plant taking capacity offline.

Biomass and wind generation on Uruguay's national SIN grid was down 4% sequentially, accounting for 48.4GWh during March or 6% of total output.

The 824GWh total demand in March represents a 4.36% increase from the year-ago month. Demand across the SIN has been 4.41% higher so far this year compared to 2011.