SAO PAULO, March 26 (Reuters) - Brazil will import electricity from Argentina and Uruguay this year, the government said in its official gazette on Thursday, the latest step to fend off energy rationing as reservoirs of local hydroelectrical plants remain at very low levels.
The imports will be "exceptional" and "temporary," according to the Ministry of Mines and Energy, which set the rules for the purchase of electricity from the neighboring countries.
State-run Petroleo Brasileiro SA, or Petrobras, will be responsible for the imports from Argentina. Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras SA, the government-run company known as Eletrobras, will handle imports from Uruguay.
With reservoirs nearly depleted following a three-year drought, Brazil had to resort to an expensive network of thermal power plants to secure electricity supplies lately. Energy rationing is still a possibility, although the situation has improved a bit after strong rains since February. (Reporting by Priscila Jordao; Writing by Silvio Cascione; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)