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    NTS announces investments of R$ 12 billion in 8 years


    September 23, 2022 - CE Noticias Financieras

     

      NTS, the gas pipeline company responsible for transporting half of all the natural gas in the country, announced on Thursday, 22, an investment plan of R$ 12 billion for the next eight years. The goal is to redesign the operation to serve the Southeast and South regions and add a new business unit, focused on storing liquefied natural gas (LNG), in Norte Fluminense.

      The main focus of NTS is to adapt and increase the capacity of the existing network in the stretch that follows the coast, transferring the points where the gas enters the pipeline system, currently consolidated in the state of São Paulo (Paulínia, Guararema, and Caraguatatuba), to Rio de Janeiro.

      The new focus will be on activities in the Guanabara Bay, in Itaboraí and at the Açu Port. The company seeks to adapt to the displacement of gas sources, which will come more from pre-salt production and less and less from Bolivia or the Mexilhão Field, in the Santos Basin.

      "Gas fields are depleted. The supply from Bolivia and Mexilhão will gradually decrease between five and ten years. Instead of receiving, we send more and more gas to São Paulo. And this requires the reinforcement of the network", explains the NTS CEO, Erick Portela.

      The interventions will be divided into two phases. The first of them foresees the installation of a compression station in Japeri, in the metropolitan region of Rio, in 2023. In a second stage, the capacity of the pipeline will be doubled on the stretch between Rio and São Paulo, and at least three other compression stations will be built.

      One of the pillars of the new plan that precedes Gasig - an 11-kilometer gas pipeline between Comperj, in Itaboraí, and the city of Guapimirim (RJ) - should be concluded in February at a cost of R$230 million.

      About the new LNG storage front, the objective is to generate revenue by means of immediate supply to thermoelectric plants in the interior of Rio, mainly in the North Fluminense region. The input should also be transported by truck to large industrial consumers in the region.

      The consolidation of these small-scale routes, in market jargon, may guide the construction of additional pipelines in a second moment, says Portela.

      Created in 2017, from the privatization of Petrobras' 2,000-km pipeline network, NTS has stakes held by Brookfield and Itaúsa, in addition to the British Columbia Investment Management Corporation (BCi) and the sovereign wealth funds CIC (China) and GIC (Singapore). In 2021, the company had revenues of R$5.7 billion. According to Fitch, NTS' adjusted debt was R$12.4 billion in June 2021.

      In the short term, the company is also counting on the release of space to close firm contracts for the transportation of gas to the São Paulo market, which requires a reduction in the space for the exclusive use of Petrobras, requested to ANP last semester. NTS has five exclusivity contracts with Petrobras maturing until 2031, but is trying for early release of space to serve other clients. The plan is to open at least 12 million m³ per day for pre-salt producers. Of this capacity, at least 40% should serve São Paulo and the South of the country.

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