ANP Gives Nod to Meio Norte Gas Pipeline

Brazil's hydrocarbons regulator ANP has authorized natural gas transport company TMN to build the 948-km Gasoduto Meio Norte pipeline crossing three states in the country's northeastern region, ANP reported.

The authorization was published in the government's daily ledger.

Federal environmental protection agency Ibama in November granted a license for pipeline construction, meaning TMN now can advance with construction.

The pipeline, which has capacity of 5Mm3/d and a diameter of 20 and 18 inches, will link Ceara and Maranhao states, crossing Piaui state.

Pipeline investments are estimated at 2.3 billion reais (US$1.08 billion), according to local press, although 2005 estimates pegged investments at 1.2 billion reais. TMN officials in 2005 told BNamericas that construction was due to start in the second quarter of 2006 and operations in 2008.

TMN is controlled by gas distribution investment group CS Participacoes, which has a 45% stake in the company. Federal energy company Petrobras has another 45% and Maranhao state gas distribution company Gasmar and Piaui distribution company Gaspisa 5% each.

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