Brazil: Studies for Big Gas Pipeline to Be Ready in July

The presidents of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Venezuela, Hugo Chávez, and Argentina, Néstor Kirchner, scheduled for July the conclusion of the in-depth study for the construction of a 10,000-kilometer pipeline connecting the three countries.

The first studies showed that the initiative may cost from US$ 17 billion to US$ 25 billion and the works should take around six years.

After the meeting at the Granja do Torto, the presidential residence, Thursday, January 19, in Brazilian capital Brasí­lia, the heads of state also decided that in March there will be a new presidential meeting, in Mendoza, Argentina, to present the new studies elaborated by the countries. Today, the ministers of Energy of the three nations presented preliminary studies.

According to information supplied by the Minister of Mines and Energy, once built, the pipeline may transport 150 million cubic meters of gas per day from Venezuela to Brazil and Argentina – enough to supply the Brazilian needs, including the Northern and Northeastern regions of the country.

Starting now, six subgroups will execute in-depth studies in specific areas: market, funds and trade; tariff definition; planning of engineering and technological aspects; financing and business model; government authorizations, environment and social aspects; and regulatory, legal, tax and institutional aspects.

A group for coordination of the activities of the Multilateral Committee was also created, and it will be in charge of examining the political aspects of the initiative.

"We have also agreed that in July the project should be advanced enough for us to make it public. We will call all the countries of South American that will be benefited," stated president Hugo Chávez, after the meeting in Brazilian capital Brasí­lia.

ABr

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