(Adds detail of power plan, regional power systems)
RIO DE JANEIRO, May 21 (Reuters) - Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff said on Thursday that Brazil and Uruguay plan to integrate their electrical distribution systems, allowing cross-border power sharing in an attempt to cut costs and improve energy efficiency and security.
Rousseff made the comments during a state visit to Brasilia by Uruguayan President Tabaré Vázquez.
Uruguay has faced difficulties in securing supplies of electricity as demand has outstripped the growth of its hydroelectric resources, forcing it to make seasonal imports from Brazil and Argentina.
The international connections, though, are limited. Brazil has also sought power from Uruguay when its own hydro systems were running below capacity during dry seasons. Integration will increase these physical connections between Uruguay and Brazil, Rousseff said.
Brazil’s state-run electrical utility holding company Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras SA and Uruguay’s UTE will work together to increase the connections, Rousseff added.
Reporting by Jeb Blount; Editing by Chris Reese