Petrobras Re-Opens Bid Round for Bahia LNG

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Petrobras has reopened bidding for the lease of its Bahia LNG import facility in the country's northeast. The move comes almost six months after it rejected the sole bid for the 3.8 million ton/yr terminal (LNGI Oct.7'20). Bidding this time around, Petronas said, will be restricted to prequalified companies only (related). Brazil has improved its investment climate since the previous bidding round and remains poised to become a major LNG import market (LNGI Jun.8'20; LNGI Mar.17'21). The delay may end up benefiting state-run Petrobras. “The further you are from the Covid-19 uncertainty and subsequent demand uncertainty, the better prospects you have in getting more players interested in this capacity,” said Liliana Diaz, a Latin America specialist at Washington-based FTI Consulting. Market players might be willing to pay a higher price "and so it is probably in Petrobras’ interest to delay it and reissue." Golar Power was disqualified from the October bid round for capacity at Bahia after an integrity risk assessment that forms part of Petrobras' corruption prevention program (LNGI Aug.4'20). Sources subsequently told Energy Intelligence they expected Petrobras to reissue the tender (LNGI Nov.4'20). For its part, Petrobras said that "the leasing is aligned with the company's strategy of improving its capital allocation and building a favorable environment for new investors to enter the natural gas sector."

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