The justice of Sergipe denied, at first instance, the request of Sergás Distributor to annul the authorization given by the state Government so that Celse (Sergipe power plants) build and operate a pipeline to supply a thermoelectric.
The decision was made on Monday (15), and the case is closely monitored by other gas distributors because, although there are similar discussions in other States, the fight is the first that involves the supply with LNG (liquefied natural gas) and therefore should Generate legal precedent.
The controversy involves the supply of the Porto de Sergipe 1 plant, in Barra dos Coqueiros, 10 kilometers from Aracaju. Celse, which has as shareholders Ebrasil and Norwegian Golar Power, won an auction to build the plant, which will be the largest gas plant in the country when it comes into operation.
Sergás, which has among its partners the government of Sergipe, Mitsui and Petrobrás, sued the Agrese (state regulatory Agency) and Celse in May.
The distributor argues that Celse should pay it a tariff for the transportation of liquefied natural gas (LNG) that will supply the terminal unit where the fuel arrives, on the coast, to the plant. As an argument, it states that the distributors ' natural monopoly is guaranteed in the Constitution and the gas law.
Celse questions the need for hiring because the company would fit as an auto-importer of gas, a category of agent that imports the product to use it as raw material in its industrial facilities. Agrese allowed the construction of the duct.
The company uses as an argument a state decree that determines that the rate "does not apply to the displacement of natural gas, for own consumption, in the set of installations and pipelines of LNG terminals and transfer pipelines to plants Thermoelectric ".
Sergás also claims that the same standard determines that self-importers can only construct pipelines when "they cannot be met" by the company and by concluding a contract that assigns to the distributor "its operation and maintenance". He therefore asked the court to revoke the authorisation given to Celse.
Judge Fabiana de Castro cites the argument of the state prosecutor's office, which in the case of the Court of Justice has opted against the request of the State distributor to understand that there is no need to pay the fee because it is a duct operated by Celse for its own consumption.
The judiciary said that the granting of an inliminary that would suspend the payment of the fee would imply "gravame[prejuízo] accentuated the sustainability of the undertaking in charge" of Celse.
Sergas can appeal the sentence. The distributor said in a statement that "strengthens its confidence in the
Legal institutions, obeying the procedures laid down in law. "
If maintained and generate precedent, the decision can cheape the price of gas for self-importers, according to Rafael Baleroni, partner of the law firm Cescon Barrieu. "It meets the federal government's understanding of seeking to reduce the cost of gas with the withdrawal of the intermediary's need."
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