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Report of Foreign Private Issuer
Pursuant to Rule 13a-16 or 15d-16 of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934
For the month of September, 2004

Commission File Number 1-15106

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

Brazilian Petroleum Corporation - PETROBRAS
(Translation of Registrant's name into English)

Avenida República do Chile, 65
20035-900 - Rio de Janeiro, RJ
Federative Republic of Brazil
(Address of principal executive office)

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant files or will file annual reports under cover Form 20-F or Form 40-F. 

Form 20-F ___X___ Form 40-F _______

 Indicate by check mark whether the registrant by furnishing the information contained in this Form is also thereby furnishing the information to the Commission pursuant to Rule 12g3-2(b) under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.  

Yes _______ No___X____


Petrobras to resume work on the Termoaçu (RN) Thermoelectric Project

(Rio de Janeiro, August 16, 2004). – PETRÓLEO BRASILEIRO S/A - PETROBRAS, [Bovespa: PETR3/PETR4, NYSE: PBR/PBRA, Latibex: XPBR/XPBRA], a Brazilian international energy company, announces that it today signed a Commitment Letter with Guaraniana S.A., its partner in the Vale do Açu (Termoaçu) Thermoelectric Project in the state of Rio Grande do Norte (RN) for resumption of work on the plant. The plant will have a nominal capacity of 340 MW and produce 610 tons per hour (t/h) of steam.

The project is currently at a standstill due to divergences between the originally negotiated energy purchase agreement (“PPA”) and the agreement ratifed by the National Electric Energy Agency (ANEEL), which made it mandatory that a new model for the project’s development should be negotiated between the partners

Petrobras is to take over the project’s management and subscribe further capital to the company, increasing its stake from the current 30% of the voting shares to approximately 80 % when the project is concluded.

Out of total generation capacity, 300 MW will be acquired by Companhia Energética do Rio Grande do Norte (COSERN) and by Companhia de Eletricidade do Estado da Bahia (COELBA), according to the “PPAs” already ratified. Petrobras will purchase 40 MW and 610 t/h of steam for its own consumption in the oil producing fields of Estreito and Alto do Rodrigues (RN), with corresponding enhanced productivity.

The resumption of work on this project is part of corporate strategy to operate on an integrated basis in this sector for increasing natural gas consumption and optimizing the Company’s position in the electric energy market.

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Petróleo Brasileiro S.A – PETROBRAS
Investor Relations Department
Raul Adalberto de Campos– Executive Manager
Av. República do Chile, 65 - 4th floor
20031-912 – Rio de Janeiro, RJ
(55-21) 2534-1510 / 2534-9947

This document may contain forecasts that merely reflect the expectations of the Company’s management. Such terms as “anticipate”, “believe”, “expect”, “forecast”, “intend”, “plan”, “project”, “seek”, “should”, along with similar or analogous expressions, are used to identify such forecasts. These predictions evidently involve risks and uncertainties, whether foreseen or not by the Company. Therefore, the future results of operations may differ from current expectations, and readers must not base their expectations exclusively on the information presented herein.


Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the registrant has duly caused this report to be signed on its behalf by the undersigned, thereunto duly authorized.

Date: September 16, 2004

/S/  José Sergio Gabrielli de Azevedo

José Sergio Gabrielli de Azevedo
Chief Financial Officer and Investor Relations Director



This press release may contain forward-looking statements. These statements are statements that are not historical facts, and are based on management's current view and estimates offuture economic circumstances, industry conditions, company performance and financial results. The words "anticipates", "believes", "estimates", "expects", "plans" and similar expressions, as they relate to the company, are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Statements regarding the declaration or payment of dividends, the implementation of principal operating and financing strategies and capital expenditure plans, the direction of future operations and the factors or trends affecting financial condition, liquidity or results of operations are examples of forward-looking statements. Such statements reflect the current views of management and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties. There is no guarantee that the expected events, trends or results will actually occur. The statements are based on many assumptions and factors, including general economic and market conditions, industry conditions, and operating factors. Any changes in such assumptions or factors could cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations.