Petrobras starts up Paulina-Jacutinga natural gas pipeline

Petrobras (PBR) inaugurated the Paulínia (SP - Jacutinga (MG) Gas Pipeline Friday, January 29, 2010. With capacity to transport 5 million cubic meters of gas per day and measuring 93 kilometers in length, the gas pipeline will supply natural gas to towns in the Southern area of the state of Minas Gerais, particularly to companies operating in the aluminum, ceramics, and food industries, for the first time. A total of R$275 million were invested in the construction of the project, which belongs to the so-called PAC (the Growth Acceleration Program). 

"The last major investment made in this area dated back to 1994. And gas now reaches a very important region, that of southern Minas, the state’s second biggest GDP. This region will have a major horizon for growth, and there will be an increase in the number of jobs because of the gas. This gas pipeline will revolutionize the ceramic pole, since gas burns uniformly," said the Rousseff, emphasizing the potential of attracting new companies to the region. This is the first gas pipeline to supply Minas Gerais after Gasbel I went on stream in 1994. In this period (1994-2009), Gasbel I was the only transportation gas pipeline there was to supply the state. 

The chief of staff also mentioned natural gas will afford lower pollutant gas emissions. "In May, we will inaugurate Gasbel 2, and the substitution of other fuels for natural gas has a positive impact on the environment, since it is a clean fuel," she said. 

Petrobras’ director for Gas and Energy, Graça Foster, highlighted the importance of the new gas pipeline’s flexibility. "Paulínia receives gas that may come from different sources and of several nationalities. This is the outcome of a major investment and of arduous, incessant work we have done intensely in the past four years. And it culminates with the completion of gas pipelines that are extremely important to render our gas pipeline network robust and flexible. 

The gas pipeline originates in the city of Paulínia, where the so-called Natural Gas Hub 3 is installed. This Hub interconnects the Paulínia-Jacutinga and Campinas-Rio (Gascar) gas pipelines and the Southern, Northern and Replan-Guararema sections of the Bolivia-Brazil (Gasbol) gas pipeline, as well as the Delivery Point for Replan (Planalto Paulista Refinery). "The Gasbol, which brings gas from Bolivia, arrives at that point (Hub 3). We can also take gas from the Espírito Santo Basin and from the Campos Basin, and LNG from the Guanabara Bay, which can be imported. We can distribute it from the hub. It is a structure equipped with valves, with systems that afford flexibility. If at any given moment there is an increase in consumption, we can direct this gas and allow it to reach the customers," detailed the general manager for Project Implementation, Marcelo Restum. 

In Jacutinga, where the ceremony was held, Petrobras installed a delivery point, with capacity for 1.25 million cubic meters per day, where the natural gas is supplied to the state distributor, who is in charge of developing energetic consumption among its customers. The Paulínia-Jacutinga gas pipeline will transport natural gas to supply mainly the region’s industrial market. 

The arrival of natural gas in Southern Minas allows for the substitution of fuel oil and LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) for natural gas, a fuel that is more efficient energetically and less polluting. 

In addition to the Paulínia-Jacutinga gas pipeline, the transportation network that supplies the state of Minas Gerais will be reinforced next May when the Gasbel II (267 km in length) is scheduled to go online. With the two gas pipelines - Paulínia-Jacutinga and Gasbel II - Petrobras boosts its natural gas transportation capacity to the state fourfold, surging from 3.2 million cubic meters per day to 13.2 million cubic meters per day. This expansion is taking place because of the transportation network that is being doubled - from the current 357 km (the length of Gasbel I) to 717 km.

Nearly 5,000 direct and indirect jobs were created during the construction of the project. Its nationalization index was approximately 85%. Minas Gerais is the sixth biggest natural gas consuming state in Brazil. In the non-thermoelectric market, the main consumption segment is the industrial one, which accounts for about 80% of the demand, trailed by the automotive and commercial sectors.

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