Brazil Energy Ministry Gets an Admiral to Tackle Privatizations

(Bloomberg) -- Brazil’s energy and mines ministry will be led by a former submarine commander who is currently in charge of the navy’s nuclear division.

President-elect Jair Bolsonaro announced the appointment of Admiral Bento Costa Lima Leite de Albuquerque Junior on his Twitter account on Friday, the latest addition to a team expected to implement market-friendly policies.

Albuquerque, 60, has held posts at the United Nations and the Organization of American States, according to a Twitter post from Bolsonaro’s son, Carlos Bolsonaro. The admiral, who joined the military in 1973, will be tackling offshore oil licensing rounds and planned energy privatizations in his new job. Bolsonaro’s transition team is already participating in negotiations to free up billions of barrels of offshore oil reserves for development by foreign oil companies.

There are also expectations for deregulation of the mining industry under Bolsonaro. Brazil is among the world’s top sources of iron ore, bauxite and manganese, and its mineral wealth has helped propel building booms as far away as China. The industry is expected to generate some $19.5 billion in investments through 2022.

Bolsonaro, a former army captain, has an ex-general as his vice president and has named military officials to lead the ministries of defense and science, as well as other key cabinet posts.

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