Brazil’s Development Bank (BNDES) is going to loan US$ 200 million for the export of goods and services by Brazilian companies to be used in the construction of a gas pipeline in Argentina.
The credit was approved February 23 by the bank and will be destined to works for expansion of the natural gas transport infrastructure of Transportadora de Gás del Sur (TGS).
In all, according to the bank, US$ 170 million will be turned to the financing of exports of goods and engineering and construction services supplied by Norberto Odebrecht Construction company.
Among the products to be supplied by Odebrecht are machinery and equipment, and steel pipes and plates produced by Brazilian smelters like Usiminas and Cosipa. The remains will be for the financing of shipping of steel pipes and tubes made by Brazilian company Confab.
According to the BNDES, the works are going to increase the transport capacity of the General San Martín and Neuba II pipelines by around 2.9 million square meters a day and will be executed on stretches between Tierra Del Fuego, in the extreme south of the country, and Bahía Blanca, on the coast of Buenos Aires province; and between Bahía Blanca and Argentine capital Buenos Aires.
According to the bank, the project forecasts the construction of 508.85 kilometers of pipes and should be finished by August this year.
“Expansion of the TGS transport capacity will guarantee greater offer of natural gas and electricity to the region of Greater Buenos Aires, which concentrates over 50% of the population of Argentina, which has been facing an energy crisis since 2004,” according to a statement published by the BNDES.
TGS, according to the bank, already transports around 60% of the gas consumed in the neighboring country and counts on a pipeline system with a total of 7,419 kilometers in length and a capacity for transport of 62.5 million cubic meters a day.
It connects the productive regions, in the South and West of the country, to the consumer centers. The company is controlled by Compaí±ia de Inversiones de Energia, of which Petrobras Energia, the Argentine subsidiary of Brazilian oil giant Petrobras, is a shareholder.
The BNDES stated that the loan is part of the bank’s strategy of physically integrating South America, considered a priority in the foreign policy of Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.
Translated by Mark Ament