Brazil sets new power auction for June 12

Brazil has set June 12 as the date for its second public auction of electricity that will come on line starting in January 2009.

Mauricio Tolmasquim, head of the government’s Energy Research Co., told a March 13 news conference he expects the sale to meet demand for 1,800 MW energy from 2009. He said he expects the auction to offer mainly future thermal power projects and some hydroelectric plants that already have been built but have not yet signed long-term power contracts.

Tolmasquim said new hydroelectric projects like 1,087-MW Estreito on the Tocantins River might participate, but they had little chance of success as it would take more than three years to build them. He said thermal plants had better chances.

Construction and power generating companies must register projects to be offered by April 10. Power distributors have until April 13 to say how much energy they seek to buy at the auction.

Another hydro concession auction seen in late 2006

Tolmasquim also said hydroelectric projects that are offered but unclaimed in June likely will be reoffered in the second half of 2006. He said that auction could include 3,580-MW Santo Antonio, one of two projects to be developed on the Madeira River.

He said he expects an environmental license to be issued for Santo Antonio in May, in time for the later auction. The project is expected to be on line by 2011. Tolmasquim said the second Madeira River project, 3,900-MW Jirau, might be auctioned later this year or in 2007. Jirau is expected to be commissioned in 2012.

Last December, Brazil sold all seven hydroelectric plant concessions offered in the first such auction.

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