The Brazilian government is preparing a bidding round for the construction and 30-year operation of a natural gas pipeline from Petrobrás’ COMPERJ petrochemical complex to the gas pipeline network in Rio de Janeiro. This will be the first natural gas transportation tender within the government’s new expansion plan and is expected to occur within the next few months.

ANP, Brazil’s national agency for petroleum, natural gas and biofuels, has recently made available a summary with information on the first natural gas transportation bidding round. The only gas pipeline approved so far within the Decennial Plan for Expansion of Transport through Pipelines (PEMAT 2013-2022) is located between the cities of Itaboraí and Guapimirim, linking Petrobras’ COMPERJ petrochemical complex to the gas pipeline network in Rio de Janeiro.

PEMAT also contains provisions regarding several other gas pipelines, which construction or expansion are not part of the 2013-2022 plan, but may be considered for future plans depending on the potential demand and supply of natural gas, and other strategic matters, such as the definition of routes. PEMAT 2013-2022 was under public consultation until 26 February 2013, and the final version is expected to be published within in Quarter 1 of 2014.

This is the first time that a gas pipeline is subject to a bidding round after the enactment of the Gas Law, which established the concession regime in 2009.

ANP will be responsible for preparing the tender protocol and promoting the bidding, which will be preceded by a public call for contracting the transportation capacity. ANP’s Natural Gas Movement and Commercialization Superintendency will coordinate the public call, while ANP’s Bidding Promotion Superintendency will coordinate the bidding.

The Ministry of Mines and Energy has already defined minimum requirements to be included in the tender protocol, such as a minimum of 80% global commitment on local content. This bidding round is expected to occur within the next few months.