Brazil’s Cemig delays sale of Belo Monte shares

Companhia Energetica de Minas Gerais (Cemig) will delay the planned sale of its shares in the 11.2-GW Belo Monte hydroelectric plant until next year, per a plan outlined by the Brazilian power group this week.

Cemig announced last June that it would divest about US$2.7 billion in assets in an effort to cut its debt, with the company’s shares in the 27-MW Cachoeirao, 20-MW Pipoca and 25-MW Paracambi small hydro plants — alongside a stake in consortium Norte Energia, which operates Belo Monte — on the block.

Cemig, owned by Brazilian state Minas Gerais, would make around $420 million from selling its 12% share of Norte Energia.

Norte Energia’s other stakeholders include Cia Energetica de Minas Gerais SA, Light SA, Vale SA, Siderurgica Norte Brasil SA, J. Malucelli Energia SA and pension funds Petros Fundacao Petrobras and Funcef Fundacao. The group holds a majority 50.2% interest in Belo Monte, but announced it was looking to sell in February 2017. The remainder is controlled by Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras SA.

Belo Monte is on the Xingu River in Para State in northern Brazil. The facility has been under construction since 2011, and as of April 2017 total operating capacity was 3.2 GW. At that time, the plant was expected to become fully operational in January 2019.

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