SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Brazil’s lower house approved a new regulatory framework for the natural gas sector in the early hours of Wednesday, a move the government hopes will increase competition in the industry.
The bill, which garnered support from industrial consumers, will now be signed into law by President Jair Bolsonaro.
“In this difficult moment, this approval bodes well for the economy,” said Paulo Pedrosa, president of Abrace, an industry group of large energy users.
He said the new law would help attract new investments to the sector and increase predictability.
Under the bill, companies interested in building gas pipelines will need a simple authorization rather than a more complex concession contract. Energy regulator ANP will have more power to foster competition and reduce market concentration.
The new law allows power companies to distribute gas for industrial use, an area that used to be under state monopoly.
Reporting by Luciano Costa; Writing by Ana Mano; Editing by Edmund Blair
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