By Chris Cote and Mark S. Langevin
The Future of Energy in the Atlantic Basin Working Paper Series
Center for Transatlantic Relations, Johns Hopkins University
Brazil’s initial energy linkage to Africa began in earnest through its own search for national energy security developed by Petrobras’ exploration and production activities in West Africa, especially Angola. Yet, today Brazilian government agencies, Petrobras and Eletrobras, and private sector firms are planning, launching, and administering a growing number of projects.
These linkages may expand and deepen to eventually compose a future foundation for collective energy security among Brazil and its South American and African partners, but it is not certain whether such efforts will be limited to the South Atlantic or become incorporated into a broader Atlantic basin project that ties together the North and South Atlantic through supply and demand exchanges along with a developing “governance space.”5 For now, it is important to explore and examine these linkages to better understand whether Brazil can construct a bridge that deepens economic development by increasing energy production and consumption in Africa.
Given these unfolding linkages, as well as Brazil’s South Atlantic-centered defense and foreign policy framework, can Africa-Brazil cooperation become an essential building block to an Atlantic basin-wide energy community, or will it instead hinder this opportunity? Moreover, has President Dilma Rousseff advanced the broad, active engagement of the prior Lula government with Africa or has her administration adopted a more incremental approach to building a bridge to Africa through energy-related linkages? This chapter explores these questions through an examination of Africa-Brazil energy linkages to identify possible answers and outcomes.
The chapter proceeds through four sections, including: (1) Brazilian government policies and programs that initiate, support and frame energy related linkages; (2) hydrocarbons; (3) biofuels; and (4) electricity generation and transmission.