UPDATE 1-Engie Brazil unit seeks to sell Bahia, Maranhao gas blocks
(Adds comments from Engie Brasil CEO)
By Rodrigo Viga Gaier
RIO DE JANEIRO, June 6 (Reuters) - The Brazilian unit of French utility company Engie SA is looking to sell its natural gas blocks in Brazil's Bahia and Maranhao states as part of a global strategy to focus on renewable energy resources, the division's chief executive said on Monday.
Engie Brazil CEO Mauricio Bahr, speaking at an event in Rio de Janeiro, also said the company has no interest in bidding for the thermoelectric power plants or liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals put on sale by Brazil's state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA, commonly known as Petrobras.
"We've started a movement to not invest in technology that emits CO2, even though gas emits with a smaller impact," Bahr said. "We are going to invest 100 percent in renewable energy, like hydro, solar and wind."
To that end, Engie will gradually sell off its exploration and production assets worldwide, he said.
"The blocks in Brazil are part of this global action," Bahr added. He did not say how long the divestment plan would take.
He also said Petrobras' dominance of the Brazilian energy industry as well as the lack of legislation allowing full access to the country's gas system limits potential buyer interest in the natural gas assets the state-owned oil company is selling. (Reporting by Rodrigo Viga Gaier, writing by Jeb Blount, editing by G Crosse)
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