Dolomiti, Enel, Edison ally to develop hydro in Italian province

Locally backed Dolomiti Energia SpA has signed agreements with Italian utilities Enel SpA and Edison SpA to jointly develop hydropower projects in Trento Province and to operate a portfolio of existing hydroelectric projects in Trento totaling nearly 1,600 MW.

Enel and Edison separately agreed November 14 to sell 51 percent of their hydroelectric activities in the northern Italy province to the regional utility in deals worth a combined 615 million euros (US$898.5 million).

Enel agreed to spin off its hydroelectric operations in Trento to a new company, NewCo, of which 51 percent is being sold to Dolomiti for 561 million euros (US$820 million). The transfer includes 14 concessions for major hydroelectric diversions, 22 major hydropower plants totaling 1,400 MW with annual generation of 3.6 terawatt-hours, and seven mini-hydro plants totaling 14 MW and annual generation of 46 gigawatt-hours. Enel also is transferring its Trento gas distributor Avisio Energia to NewCo.

Similarly, Edison agreed to spin off to a new company its three hydro plants in Trento, 105-MW Taio-Santa Giustina, 64-MW Mezzocorona-Mollaro, and 12-MW Pozzolago. As in the Enel agreement, Edison agreed to sell 51 percent of the new company to Dolomiti for 53.75 million euros (US$78.5 million).

�With this agreement, Enel Produzione and Dolomiti Energia have begun an important collaborative initiative, which will help enhance the development of an invaluable source of renewable hydroelectric energy, which the province of Trento has in abundance,� Enel Chief Executive Fulvio Conti said. �It is an essential resource, making a real contribution to the fight against climate change and the energy security of the country.�

A statement by Edison added, �The purpose of the agreement is to strengthen the bonds between Edison and the local community, in an area where the group has a historical presence, by sharing ownership of the power plants with Dolomiti Energia, a company with strong local presence in the Trentino region.�

Dolomiti’s shareholders are Tecnofin Trentina, Trentino Servizi, FT Energia, and Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Trento e Rovereto, plus a number of Trento utilities and private industrial shareholders. Dolomiti has an indirect interest in Edison’s share capital because it owns a 10 percent interest in Delmi, which, in turn, owns 50 percent of Transalpina di Energia, a company that has a direct controlling interest in Edison.

The agreements, which are to be completed in early 2008, are subject to the government granting extensions of at least 10 years to the hydroelectric concessions involved in the deals as well as antitrust approvals.

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