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Brazil to supply energy to Argentina to cover shortage

May 2, 2008 - The Associated Press

Brazil's Energy Minister says the country will supply Argentina with energy to make up for a shortfall during the upcoming Southern Hemisphere winter.

Minister Edison Lobao said Friday that Brazil will provide 800 to 1,500 megawatts of energy from hydroelectric dams and thermoelectric plants, enough power for as many as 1 million homes.

Argentina will pay for part of the energy and will compensate for the rest by sending energy to Brazil at year's end - summer in the Southern Hemisphere - when energy needs drop, Lobao said.

"We have to help our Argentine brothers," Lobao said after meeting with Argentine Planning Minister Julio de Vido.

De Vido said the amount of energy Argentina needs will depend on how cold it gets this winter, which starts in June.

Argentina restricted energy supplies during last year's harsh winter. The country tried to get a share of the natural gas Brazil buys from Bolivia, but Brazil refused.

Economic growth in Brazil and Argentina has led to an energy crunch in South America's biggest nations.