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Chinese Will Help Brazil Build Southeast-Northeast Gas Pipeline

Petrobras and the Chinese State petroleum company, SINOPEC, signed a contract Monday, April 17, to build the Cabiúnas-Vitória Gas Pipeline (GASCAV), which will run through 14 municipalities in the states of Rio de Janeiro and EspÀ­rito Santo, in southeastern Brazil.

The GASCAV is the first section of the GASENE, the gas pipeline that will link the Southeast with the Northeast. The GASENE will also comprise the Vitória Cacimbas pipeline, which is already under construction, and the Cacimbas-Catu pipeline, which is still in the planning stage.

According to Ildo Sauer, Petrobras’ director of petroleum and gas, the total value of the contract is US$ 239 million, which Petrobras will receive from SINOPEC, and the project is expected to create 2,600 direct jobs..The GASCAV should be ready in May, 2007, while the GASENE should be concluded in 2008.

Sauer adds that construction of the GASENE will also make it possible to make up for the gas deficit in regions like the Northeast.

"It will serve to consolidate Brazil’s gas pipeline grid, allowing us, in the medium-run, to move gas between the various regions of the country, sending it from where it is produced to the regions that need the gas."

Sauer also referred to the possibility of Petrobras’ importing Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), permitting gas to be transported from any country without the need for gas pipelines.

According to the director, at a meeting last Thursday, April 13, the company’s executive board decided in favor of studying the project.

"What was approved is for us to study this possibility, but there is still nothing concrete," he affirmed.

Agência Brasil

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