Brazil sets minimum bids for four hydropower plants in upcoming auction

Operating concessions for four existing Brazilian hydroelectric plants will be worth at least US$3.5 billion, per conditions announced by the Brazilian government earlier this week.

Included in the upcoming auction are 30-year concessions for the 1.71-GW Sao Simao, 424-MW Jaguara, 408-MW Miranda and 380-MW Volta Grande hydropower projects.

The government said winning bidders will be required to pay at minimum $2 billion for Sao Simao, $570 million for Jaguara, $330 million for Miranda and $390 million for Volta Grande.

Terms of the sale say buyers must guarantee 70% of each project’s output for distribution via regulated market contracts, but that the remainder is eligible for sale on the free market.

Brazil’s Ministry of Mines and Energy announced it would auction rights to the projects in April, but it has yet to set a date for the auction to take place.

The plants’ operating licenses had been held by Cemig, but have been parts of legal battles being fought since the utility refused to agree with controversial energy sector reforms enacted by former president Dilma Rouseff.

HydroWorld.com reported in June 2013 that Brazil’s Supreme Court had granted an injunction to Cemig to allow it to maintain control of Jaguara, which was challenged in June 2015 before courts yet again gave Cemig control of Jaguara via a temporary concession in December of the same year. A similar injunction was granted to Cemig for Miranda in December.

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Michael Harris formerly was Editor for HydroWorld.com.

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