OREANDA-NEWS. Sao Paulo state-controlled utility EMAE has received 15 proposals to build natural gas-fired thermoelectric plants in Sao Paulo.

The state government is looking for investors to co-develop as many as six gas-fired plants with installed capacity totaling up to 1,500MW.

The plants would be built on a vacant lot owned by EMAE in the city of Sao Paulo.

EMAE received 15 proposals ranging from 40MW to 1,400MW of installed capacity.

The state government hopes to vet the proposals by year-end with the goal of participating in one of the federal government's auctions for new generation projects.

EMAE has missed a deadline to submit projects for a major auction in February 2016 for contracts to supply power starting in 2021.

EMAE?s plan is contingent on regulation that would permit gas swaps. The oil regulator ANP is expected to issue the regulation by year?s end.

Under the new rules, thermoelectric generators could use gas from adjacent pipelines, compensating state-controlled Petrobras by purchasing LNG.

According to estimates by the Sao Paulo state government, there is currently 18mn m3/d of gas available in Sao Paulo which could be used for the new plants.

The state selected the location because of its proximity to gas pipeline infrastructure and transmission lines.

The same area already has two thermoelectric plants, 470MW Piratininga and 386MW Fernando Gasparian, owned by Petrobras.