The governments of Brazil and Uruguay signed a memorandum of understanding yesterday, July 5, to conduct studies that will enable the two countries to interconnect their electric systems.
This represents the first practical step towards realizing commitments assumed in the sphere of the Mercosur to integrate South American energy systems.
The document was signed at Petrobras headquarters in Rio de Janeiro by the Brazilian Minister of Mines and Energy, Silas Rondeau, and the Uruguayan Minister, Jorge Lepra.
Rondeau believes that, besides its strategic importance for the integration of electric systems in the Mercosur, the memorandum bolsters the credibility of the Uruguayan Electric System.
"The agreement is very important insofar as it addresses the Uruguayan concern over improving its energy security by providing an option in case of energy supply fluctuations in the country."
The memorandum provides for the creation of a work group composed of three representatives from each of the four countries that form the Mercosur. The group will have 60 days in which to submit the results of their studies.
The document follows up on the understandings defined in the Landmark Agreement on Regional Energy Complementation among the Mercosur Party States and the Associated States.
One of the proposals that will be analyzed by the study is the construction of a large-scale, 500-kilowatt power line for electricity exchanges.
The line will extend for 400 kilometers and have the capacity to transmit up to a thousand megawatts. Construction costs are estimated at US$ 150 million, which will be paid for by the Uruguayan government.