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Brazilian Conglomerate To Expand Into Renewables

Brazil is on its way to gain a new clean energy venture in Votorantim, a private company that plans to create a wind, solar and hydropower company, according to a new Reuters report.

Votorantim has contacted the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board to finance the green energy platform, sources close to the company said. A company in Singapore and several North American pension funds have also demonstrated interest in the venture, sources added.

A final deal on the matter is not imminent, they said, without disclosing the size of a potential investment.

Votorantim is Brazil’s largest diversified industrial group. In recent years, its investments have focused on energy projects to reduce risk from the commodities trade, which is the company’s traditional sector of interest.

The Brazilian power grid relies heavily on renewable energies. Two-thirds of power generation in the former Portuguese colony is satisfied via hydropower, while another 15 percent comes from biomass and wind farms.

Still, fossil fuels from the Amazon rainforest, as well as related utilities, represent a solid source of revenues for Brazil. In a bid to raise cash, the country proposed a plan to put up for privatization 57 major state infrastructure assets, including the sale of some or all of its 51-percent stake in Electrobras by the middle of next year.

Related: Russia And Saudi Arabia Are Becoming Unlikely Allies

Brazilian President Michel Temer has insisted that the national oil and gas company would not be privatized, despite efforts by other parts of the Brazilian government to do that very thing. At a Reuters event last month, Temer vowed that Petrobras would remain under the control of the central government.

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New foreign direct investment is another way that Brazil plans to raise new capital. As many as 17 companies have registered to bid in two rounds of exploration license awards in Brazil’s pre-salt layer, Brazilian Oil and Gas Secretary Marcio Felix said on the sidelines of an event early in September.

By Zainab Calcuttawala for Oilprice.com

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