Drought-hit Brazil ramping up electricity imports

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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Brazil will beef up electricity imports from Uruguay and Argentina as an escalating drought curtails hydropower generation, the government said on Wednesday.

Several agents may be authorized for the purchases, which will occur on an "exceptional and temporary" basis until December 31, according to the mining and energy ministry.

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"The importation ... will be carried out by means of weekly offers of electric energy, at the border with Brazil, to [grid operator] ONS and will be destined to the short-term market, with possible adjustments according to daily schedules or by necessity in real time," the ministry said in the official gazette.

Brazil and Argentina currently trade electricity using the Uruguaiana (50MW), Garabi I (1.1GW) and Garabi II (1.1GW) interconnections while Brazil-Uruguay exchanges are made via the 70MW Livramento-Rivera and 500MW Candiota-Melo links.

The announcement came a day after the Brazilian government's electric sector monitoring committee said lower rainfall would affect hydroelectric power generation over the next two months.