Eletrobras, Shell Mull Co-investment in Brazil Offshore Wind Power

(Reuters) Brazilian power company Eletrobras and Shell have signed a cooperation agreement to exchange information as they mull a potential co-investment in offshore wind power in the South American country, Eletrobras said on Thursday.

The move marks another step for Shell in the sector in Brazil, where it already has several offshore wind projects pending approval from environmental authorities.

It is also a new development in renewable energy for Eletrobras, Latin America’s largest utility, which said it was seeking to diversify its strategy in the sector after being privatized earlier this year.

“Offshore wind energy has proved to be, all over the world, an expanding source for renewable power generation,” Eletrobras said in a securities filing.

The company, which is mostly focused on hydroelectric power plants, noted that offshore wind farms have been recently boosted by energy policies related to environmental concerns.

Earlier this year, Brazil’s government published a set of regulations for the sector that may allow an auction for offshore areas to happen as early as next year.

During his unsuccessful re-election bid, President Jair Bolsonaro mentioned Northeastern Brazil’s potential in offshore wind power several times.

He was defeated by President-elect Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who has a key advisor in Senator Jean Paul Prates, responsible for a bill in the upper house of Congress setting up a framework for the sector.

Shell, one of the world’s largest oil companies, is currently awaiting for environmental agency Ibama to approve projects it has for offshore wind plants totaling 17 gigawatts in six Brazilian states.

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