Brazil awards concessions for 261-MW Dardanelos, 362-MW Maua

The Brazilian government has awarded development concessions for the 261-MW Dardanelos and 362-MW Maua hydroelectric projects as part of its October 10 auction of electricity from 17 hydropower and 21 thermal power plants.

The concession for Dardanelos — to be built on the Aripuana River in Mato Grosso State — was won by Consorcio Aripuana with a bid price of 112.68 reais (US$52.14) per MWh for sale of 147 average MW,.

The Aripuana consortium is owned 46 percent by Neoenergia, a Brazilian unit of Spanish utility Iberdrola; 24.5 percent each by Companhia Hidreletrica do Sao Francisco (Chesf) and Centrais Eletricas do Norte do Brasil (Eletronorte), both units of Brazilian federal utility Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras S/A (Eletrobras); and 5 percent by Camargo Correa.

The concession for Maua — to be built on the Tibaji River in Parana State — was won by Consorcio Energetico Cruzeiro do Sul with a bid price of 112.96 reais (US$52.27) per MWh for sale of 192 average MW,.

The Cruzeiro do Sul consortium is owned 51 percent by Parana State utility Companhia Paranaense de Energia Eletrica (Copel) and 49 percent by Centrais Eletricas do Sul do Brasil (Eletrosul), another Eletrobras subsidiary.

President Aloisio Vasconcelos of Eletrobras, the largest single controller of shares in the two hydro projects, said the auction results strengthen the position of the national holding company in Brazil’s electric sector.

Four hydro projects withheld from auction

Environmental clearances and other problems prevented concession sales of another four hydro projects: 80-MW Barra do Pomba and 50-MW Cambuci, both on Paraiba do Sul River in Rio de Janeiro State; 350-MW Baixo Iguacu on Iguacu River in Parana; and 53.3-MW Salto Grande on Chopim River in Parana. (HNN 9/22/06)

In addition to the hydro plant concessions, the auction included sale of power from other hydro and thermal power plants that are to deliver power by January 2011, and from projects that began operation by January 2000 but did not obtain energy contracts by March 2004.

Three major hydro projects that already have concessions sold power in the auction:
o 241-MW Sao Salvador, Tocantins River, Tocantins State, 148 average MW at 135.01 reais (US$62.47) per MWh;
o 67-MW Monjolinho, Passo Fundo River, Rio Grande do Sul State, 42 MWa at 122.63 reais (US$56.74); and
o 181-MW Salto Pilao, Itajai River, Santa Catarina State, 20 MWa at 135.98 reais (US$62.92) per MWh and another 20 MWa at 133.34 reais (US$61.70) per MWh. (HNN 11/23/05)

Hydro and thermal generators sold a total of 1,100 average MW for a total of 27.7 billion reais (US$12.8 billion) in the auction, which was conducted in three hours on the Internet. President Mauricio Tolmasquim of government energy research company Empresa de Pesquisa Energetica said the volume of energy sold is sufficient to fill 99.6 percent of Brazilian demand expected in 2011.

The overall average price paid was 128.90 reais (US$59.64) per MWh. The average price for hydropower was 120.86 reais (US$55.92) per MWh, while the average price for thermal power was 137.44 reais (US$63.60) per MWh.

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