The president of the Brazilian Committee of the World Energy Council (Comitê Brasileiro do Conselho Mundial da Energia – CME), Norberto de Franco Medeiros, says that energy integration in Latin America could form a regional market for petroleum and other fuels, electricity and natural gas.
It could boost commercial and political relations, as well, said Medeiros, pointing out that the Economic Commission for Coal and Steel established in Europe 60 years ago has become the European Union.
"Integration of Latin America, including the Caribbean, is very important for our future. Energy integration could be the way toward further integration. That is what happened in Europe," says Medeiros.
He explained that the CME has undertaken a regional study that will be ready in 2008."The study will present a juridical-institutional framework where regional energy integration can take place," he said.
Medeiros mentioned two integration projects that are in the pipeline at the moment. The Venezuela-Argentina gas pipeline that will run through Brazil from north to south, at an estimated cost of US$ 25 billion.
And a waterway-electricity project connecting Brazil and Bolivia through the Madeira and Amazon rivers where at least two large hydroelectric power plants (both with generating capacity of more than 3,000 MW) would be built providing the region with electricity at cheap, competitive prices.
The project would also connect landlocked Bolivia to the Atlantic through Brazil, says Medeiros, and open a Pacific gateway for Brazil.