sexta-feira, 13 de agosto de 2010

Argentina Colder Than Antarctica Raises Power Imports

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Rússia, Japão, agora Argentina, mais fria que a Antártida.
O que mais precisamos para mudar nossa visão do mundo?
Um cometa caindo sobre nossas cabeças?
Toc toc toc... bater na madeira... não é impossível isso também....


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Argentina Colder Than Antarctica Raises Power Imports (Update2)
2010-08-03 14:45:56.196 GMT


(Adds South Pole temperature in sixth paragraph.)

By Rodrigo Orihuela
Aug. 3 (Bloomberg) -- Argentina is importing record amounts
of energy as the coldest winter in 40 years drives up demand and
causes natural-gas shortages, prompting Dow Chemical Co. and
steelmaker Siderar SAIC to scale back production.
Electricity supplied from Brazil and Paraguay rose to a
daily combined record of about 1,000 megawatts on July 12, while
consumption peaked at 20,396 megawatts three days later,
according to Buenos Aires-based energy broker Cammesa. Shipments
of liquefied natural gas are set to double this year.
Dow, Siderar and aluminum maker Aluar Aluminio Argentino
SAIC are among companies closing plants, cutting output or
seeking alternative energy sources after temperatures in parts
of Argentina fell below those of Antarctica on July 15. Rising
demand is exacerbating a shortage that began six years ago as
economic growth accelerated and energy investment fell. The
shortage is boosting costs as companies spend more to guarantee
supplies.
“The situation is getting worse, because the shortage
period is growing every year,” Gerardo Rabinovich, a director
at the General Mosconi Energy Institute in Buenos Aires and an
adviser to the opposition Radical Party, said in a telephone
interview. “When this started in 2004, it lasted for about a
week, then it was two weeks and now it’s more than a month.”
In July, temperatures in Buenos Aires were, on average, 1
degree Celsius below the usual low and high of 8 and 14 degrees
(46 and 57 degrees Farenheit), with temperatures plummeting to
about 2 degrees Celsius on July 15.

Renewed Cold

Also on July 15, temperatures in Mendoza, the wine-
producing region in western Argentina, fell as low as -8.9
degrees Celsius below the temperature registered that day in the
Argentine-controlled area of the South Pole, according to a
national weather institute report.
Argentina is bracing for a renewed polar front this month.
On Aug. 1, almost half of the country’s 23 provinces registered
temperatures below zero, while the northern city of La Quiaca on
the border with Bolivia fell to minus 10 degrees Celsius (14
degrees Fahrenheit.) The average low predicated through Aug. 5
is 1 degree, according to the National Weather service.
Dow closed a polyethylene plant in July and reduced
operations at another facility to minimum capacity after gas
supplies were rationed by the government, said Soledad Echague,
a spokeswoman for the Midland, Michigan-based company in Buenos
Aires. The cuts were more severe than the company had expected,
she said.

Power Purchases

“The situation should be under control, as long as the
weather improves,” Horacio Mizrahi, a spokesman at Argentina’s
Planning Ministry, which oversees the country’s energy policy,
said in a July 27 telephone interview from Buenos Aires.
Aluar needs a constant supply of electricity at its 410,000
ton-per-year aluminum smelter in Argentina’s southern Chubut
province. The company is buying power to keep the plant running
during peak gas consumption hours this winter, a spokesman for
the Buenos Aires-based company, who declined to be named under
company policy, said in a July 26 telephone interview.
Siderar reduced production to a minimum during peak gas
consumption hours in July, according to a company spokesman, who
declined to be named, citing company policy.
Argentina has doubled purchases of LNG shipments to 14 this
year to address the shortages. Each shipment equals 3 million
British thermal units of the fuel. Seven ships were bought last
year, according to government data compiled by the Argentine Oil
and Gas Institute, an industry research group.

Reduced Supplies

About 300 hundred industrial users have faced reduced power
supplies since yesterday, according to reports in local media,
including newspaper Clarin, Argentina’s biggest newspaper, and
television channel C5N. The cuts started after residential gas
consumption rose 42 percent yesterday to 85 million cubic meters
(3 billion cubic feet) from 60 million, Clarin reported today.
July and August are Argentina’s coldest months. The winter
months have put stress on energy supplies since 2004, when
economic growth of an average of 8.5 percent a year stoked
demand and price caps on gas, oil and utility prices curtailed
investments in the country’s fields and pipelines.
The energy shortages led to restrictions of exports to
Chile, which obtained about 80 percent of its natural gas
supplies from Argentina until 2009, when it opened the first of
two LNG plants. A gas pipeline that links the two countries
across the Andes mountains is now practically unused after
Argentina curtailed exports to its Latin American neighbor.

Spot Cargo Purchases

Aside from the 14 ships bought through a bidding round
earlier this year, Argentine state-owned energy company Enarsa
bought at least one spot cargo of LNG this year from Ras Laffan
Liquified Natural Gas Co., according to the Qatari company.
Enarsa’s head of communications Carlos Davidson did not respond
to emails to his office and a phone call seeking comment.
Argentina needs an extra 40 million cubic meters of natural
gas to cover the shortages, according to the Mosconi Institute’s
Rabinovich. The country uses about 120 million in winter, he
said.
Argentina’s Energy Secretary this year hired YPF, a unit of
Spain’s Repsol YPF SA, to install a second regasification ship,
which will be located on the Parana river off the city of
Escobar, in central Buenos Aires province.
The new ship will be located within a radius of less than
200 kilometers from steel plants operated by the Techint Group
and Arcelor Mittal’s Argentine unit Acindar. Argentine grain and
bean producers and exporters, such as Bunge Ltd. and Cargill
Inc., the country’s two biggest exporters in 2009, also have
operations in the region.

For Related News and Information:
Top Energy News: ETOP

--Editors: Dale Crofts, Robin Saponar.

To contact the reporter on this story:
Rodrigo Orihuela in Buenos Aires at +5411-4321-7731 or
rorihuela@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor on this story:
Dale Crofts in Buenos Aires at +5411-4321-7731 or
dcrofts@bloomberg.net

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