Brazil bank approves funding for 19-MW Salto

Brazil’s national development bank has approved financing of 56.7 million reais (US$31.8 million) for construction of the 19-MW Salto hydroelectric project in Brazil’s Mato Grosso State.

Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Economico e Social (BNDES) said December 13 it awarded the funding to Salto Jauru Energetica S/A, a unit of Brascan Energetica, owned by Canada’s Brookfield Power. Salto Jauru Energetica was qualified to sell project power in 2005 by regulator Agencia Nacional de Energia Eletrica (ANEEL).

BNDES said its credit is equal to 74.4 percent of the total project investment of 71.7 million reais (US$40.3 million). Salto Jauru Energetica is to provide the remainder of the investment.

Salto is to include a transmission line for interconnection to the distribution grid of Centrais Eletricas Matogrossenses (Cemat). It is to begin operation in 2008. BNDES said construction of the project also involves environmental programs and mitigation as well as compensation for effects of the small reservoir of 79 hectares.

BNDES said it has provided 1.6 billion reais (US$899 million) in 2007 to finance 21 small hydro projects totaling 487 MW. The projects had a total investment of 2.2 billion reais (US$1.2 billion).

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