Brazil awards nearly US$4bn in hydropower auction

Brazil awards nearly US$4bn in hydropower auction

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The Brazilian government has sold operating licenses for four hydroelectric dams with a total value of nearly US$4 billion.  

China-based State Power Investment Corp. won the largest contract, paying US$2.4 billion for the 1.71 GW Sao Simao. Engie submitted a US$1.1 billion bid to operate the 424 MW Jaguara and 408-MW Miranda, while Italy's Enel claimed the 380-MW Volta Grande at a cost of US$440 million.

All together the four plants have a total installed capacity of 2,922 MW.

Brazil's government  has secured BRL12.13 billion (US$3.8 billion)  through the concession grants, exceeding the government's initial expectation to raise BRL11.5 billion (US$3.6 billion).

All four of the hydropower projects had previously been operated by state-owned Companhia Energetica de Minas Gerais (Cemig). However the company's licenses were revoked after the Cemig refused to terms of Brazil's energy sector.

The result of the auction has been considered as a success by the Brazilian authorities with the demonstration of confidence in the market for future concessions in the energy sector. 

Reive Barros, director of the National Electric Energy Agency (ANEEL) said: 

"We are proving that we are an island of regulatory excellence, which makes it predictable and attractive for investments, and companies invest because they know the plan will meet expectations."

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