OREANDA-NEWS. During the 12th bid round of the National Oil, Gas and Bio Fuels Regulator (ANP), GDF SUEZ won six blocks in the Reconcavo basin (State of Bahia), in partnership with Petrobras.

GDF SUEZ will have a 25% participation in each block, which will be operated by Petrobras with a 40% participation. Brazilian companies Ouro Preto Oleo e Gas and Cowan Petroleo e Gas will hold the 35% remaining interest, respectively, in five blocks and in the sixth block. In total, the six blocks cover a surface area of 162 km2.

The Minimum Exploratory Program will target conventional hydrocarbons and will last three years, with the potential to extend for an additional two years. The concession contracts shall be signed during the first half of 2014.

Following GDF SUEZ's recent entry into Blocks 2 and 3 in the Parnaiba basin, this success further strengthens the Group's presence in E&P activities in Brazil and confirms GDF SUEZ strategy to complete its significant presence along the energy value chain in the country.

Natural gas will play a key role in the Brazilian energy mix going forward, and therefore direct access to gas is an important enhancement to GDF SUEZ's position as the country's largest independent power production company, through its holding in Tractebel Energia.

GDF SUEZ, through its subsidiary Tractebel Energia, is the largest independent power producer in Brazil, representing approximately 7% of the country's total installed power generation capacity. 87% of the 8,522 MW capacity is from renewable resources. Its position in renewables has been reinforced by the construction of new wind farms in the Northeast region.

GDF SUEZ is currently also constructing Jirau, a major 3,750 MW hydropower plant located on the Madeira river, in the State of Rondonia. The project, which will produce clean and renewable energy to meet the electricity demand of 10 million Brazilian households, was recently registered with the United Nations under the Clean Development Mechanism. The Group is also present in energy related services and has been supplying the Brazilian market with LNG since 2012.