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Brazil to resume electricity imports from Venezuela after four years

Electric power transmission tower in Brasilia, Brazil. Photo taken on 29 August 2019. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino Acquire Licensing Rights

SAO PAULO, Dec 11 (Reuters) – Brazil will resume electricity imports from its neighbor Venezuela after more than four years of hiatus, Brazil’s energy and mines ministry and energy firm Ambar said on Monday.

The move is expected to reduce energy costs for consumers in the Brazilian state of Roraima, which is the country’s only state not connected to the national grid.

The Brazilian government late last month authorized Ambar, an energy trading company controlled by the J&F group, to import electricity generated by the Guri hydroelectric plant in Venezuela in a process that should begin soon, according to Ambar.

The authorization is valid until January of next year.

Brazil stopped buying energy from its neighbor in 2019 after relations between the countries deteriorated under Brazil’s former President Jair Bolsonaro. Since then, the state has used electricity from costly diesel-fired plants.

“Ambar is offering the energy at an average cost 50% lower than the price currently paid by consumers to supply the state of Roraima,” the company said in a statement.

Reporting by Leticia Fucuchima; Writing by Peter Frontini; Editing by Sandra Maler

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