Paraguay , Chile , Brazil , Argentina and Uruguay

Snapshot: Argentina-Brazil energy integration

Bnamericas Published: Monday, November 28, 2022
Snapshot: Argentina-Brazil energy integration

Argentine electricity exports to Brazil have tumbled this year, but imports have climbed apace.

Argentina and Brazil recently signed a memorandum of understanding to extend to 2025 an electricity exchange agreement due to expire in December. 

A major change in the agreement is the implementation of a bilateral payment system employing local currencies.

A chief objective for Argentina is securing Brazilian electricity during the colder months in the southern hemisphere, as well as reducing reliance on expensive imported liquid fuels for thermoelectric generation. 

Argentine electricity exports to Brazil have fallen to around 28GWh this year after two years of record sales amid a drought impacting Brazil's output from hydroelectric dams. 

Argentina has two operational cross-border power links with Brazil and three with Uruguay (one of them via the 1.89GW Salto Grande border hydro plant), one with Chile, one with Bolivia and three with Paraguay (one of them via the 3.2GW Yacyretá border hydro plant).

The Argentina-Brazil links are the 132kV, 50MW Paso de los Libres-Uruguaiana and 500kV, 2.2GW Rincón Santa María-Garabí, according to a 2021 power interconnection report from regional energy integration commission Cier

Argentina also feeds natural gas to Brazil via a pipeline that connects to a thermoelectric power station.


Exports of Argentine electricity to Brazil jumped in 2020 and 2021, according to wholesale power market administrator Cammesa, hitting levels not seen since at least 2002 (446GWh), as drought impacted hydroelectric output in Brazil. 

Argentine exports to Brazil: 3.79TWh
Argentine imports from Brazil: 43.7GWh

Argentine exports to Brazil: 2.62TWh
Argentine imports from Brazil: 349GWh

Argentine exports to Brazil: 261GWh
Argentine imports from Brazil: 212GWh

Argentine exports to Brazil: 267GWh
Argentine imports from Brazil: 0.2GWh


Argentine electricity exports to Brazil have dived this year to 28GWh as Brazilian hydropower production has climbed amid better hydrological conditions and adoption of water management strategies. 

But imports of Brazilian power have rocketed to 3.7TWh, the highest since at least 2002.

Through October, exports to Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay totaled 3.1GWh, while imports were around 1.4TWh, with about 1.3TWh of the total coming from Uruguay.

Overall in January-October, Argentina exported 31GWh and imported 5.16TWh. 


In terms of gas, Argentina and Brazil are connected via the 24-inch, 2.8Mm3/d Aldea Brasilera-Uruguaiana duct. 

No gas has been exported through the pipeline so far this year, according to data from gas sector regulator Enargas. 

Last year, Argentina exported 200,000m3/d to Brazil in October and 40,000m3/d in February. 

Chile is the biggest buyer of Argentine gas, importing 8.35Mm3/d in October, up 42% year-on-year. Uruguay imported 300,000m3/d, up 5%. 

Argentina is working to increase natural gas production to help substitute expensive imports and support the development of a firm, year-round gas exporting industry. A gas transport pipeline designed to ease a dispatch bottleneck is under construction and due to enter service in mid-2023 if the project advances as planned.

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