Brazil’s state owned oil company Petrobras is establishing an energy service company (Esco) in order to assist its customers to reduce their energy consumption.
In consultation with Canadian consultancy Econoler International and the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP), the Esco is being set up by Petrobras’ retail subsidiary BR with funding from Brazil’s development bank BNDES.
The Esco will provide both financing and energy efficiency services to clients, with most types of investments having a payback period between three to five years. However, it will prioritise two types in particular – improved air conditioning systems and energy efficient motors – as well as more efficient lighting at clients’ facilities.
To start with, BR is targeting one of Brazil’s biggest national companies, telecommunications company Telemar, which owns or runs 50 buildings and has the potential to demonstrate energy savings. Thereafter BR is considering other industries, such as food and beverages and chemicals, which respectively have the potential for energy savings of R$185 million (US$106 million) and R$273 million (US$156 million).
With growing demand for energy in Brazil – the International Energy Agency (IEA) has predicted a doubling within a generation – the country’s Esco industry is steadily growing, with about 40 Escos operating currently.