Brazil hit by sporadic power failures in record heat

by Reuters
Tuesday, 4 February 2014 19:07 GMT

SAO PAULO, Feb 4 (Reuters) - Brazilian power distributors reported sporadic outages across much of the southeast, south and central-western regions on Tuesday amid low reservoir levels and record heat.

Companies reporting outages included Light SA, the main distributor for the Rio de Janeiro area, Eletropaulo SA , the distributor for Sao Paulo and distributors in other areas also reported power cuts.

The outages were due to "disturbances" in the national electric system which triggered an automatic shut-off response to some distributors, Brazil's grid operator ONS said in an e-mailed statement.

It was not immediately clear whether the outages were related to scorching temperatures in Brazil's southeast that have triggered a surge in demand for electricity, when drought has left hydroelectric reservoirs at worryingly low levels.

January was the hottest month on record in parts of Brazil including its biggest city, São Paulo.

Energy Minister Edison Lobao told reporters on Monday that "we see no risk of energy shortages."

Some neighborhoods in Sao Paulo had power while others did not, Brazilian media reported. Some distributors said power had returned to normal.

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