(PetroleoHoje) Vibra Energia (former BR Distribuidora) plans to sell the Espírito Santo government’s stake in ES Gas,  the disinvestment in the state distributor is scheduled for the first half of 2022, said the company’s president, Wilson Ferreira Jr..

In September, the state government signed a contract with BNDES to carry out studies aimed at modeling the sale of ES Gas shares, the results of which will be submitted to the state government and to the Vibra Energia Board of Directors.

“We are not, theoretically, investors in regulated businesses. So, we understand that the most suitable play in the gas position is the off-grid, LNG, this is where we are looking to position ourselves”, declared the executive, stressing the interest in selling the company’s shares in ES Gás.

The distributor is a mixed-capital company created in 2018, controlled by the state of Espírito Santo with 51% voting interest, in partnership with Vibra (49%). Last year, the distributor took over the piped gas distribution services for 25 years, previously provided by BR Distribuidora since 1993. The contract was the result of an agreement between the state and BR, which maintained a dispute over the distribution activity.

Fuel oil sales grow 77%

Vibra Energia saw its fuel oil sales grow 77% in the third quarter of this year, compared to that registered between April and June. The company sold 1.15 million m³ in the period, reflecting the effects of the water crisis already felt in the previous quarter, with the increase in electricity generation using fuel oil.

The volume sold represents an increase of 231.4% compared to the same period in 2020, when 349 thousand m³ of fuel oil were sold in the B2B (business to business) segment. The impacts of the water crisis on the sale of fuel oil are greater for Vibra Energia, as the company holds a 94.2% market share in this market, according to ANP data for the third quarter.

According to Ferreira, during the earnings conference, sales should be similar in the fourth quarter and the perspective for 2022 is for them to remain high, due to the La Ninã phenomenon. “If we don’t have a regular year, from the point of view of rain, it is quite reasonable to expect that we still have a large dispatch of thermoelectric plants,” he said.

In total, the company registered a sequential increase of 16.6% in the volume sold in the quarter, to 10.3 million m³, due to the fuel oil market for thermal generation and the increase in sales of aviation kerosene (QAV), fuels of the Otto Cycle and diesel, 40%, 8% and 12%, respectively.

After fuel oil, the aviation segment posted the highest percentage growth in the quarter, with an increase of 1.7 percentage points in Vibra’s market share. “With the widespread vaccination and the resumption of mobility, the sector is undergoing strong growth,” stated the company in a results report. The aviation segment was the most impacted by the covid-19 pandemic and the consequent restriction of mobility.

Higher sales margins increased Vibra’s gross profit by 20.4% compared to the second quarter, to R$1.5 billion, being offset by lower gains with product inventories. Net income was R$ 598 million – an increase of 56.5% compared to the previous period. The company recorded net revenue of R$ 35.7 billion.

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