Brazil’s national development bank has approved financing of 1.6 billion reais (US$860 million) for construction of the 855-MW Foz do Chapeco hydroelectric project on the Uruguai River on the border of Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina states.
Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimiento Economica e Social (BNDES) is to provide 1.1 billion reais (US$591 million) directly to project developer Foz do Chapeco Energia S/A, while 552 million reais (US$296 million) will be provided by financing agents Bradesco, Santander, Banco do Brasil, and Safra bank. The financing represents about 75 percent of the total investment of 2.2 billion reais (US$1.18 billion).
Foz do Chapeco Energia is a special purpose company owned 51 percent by CPFL Energia. Other owners are federal utility Furnas Centrais Eletricas, and Rio Grande do Sul State utility Companhia Estadual de Energia Eletrica.
Project construction began in December. (HNN 2/12/07) The first unit is to begin operation in August 2010, with the fourth and final unit on line in March 2011.
Foz do Chapeco already has contracted to sell 40 percent of its energy to CPFL. The remaining 60 percent is to be sold into the electricity market. Foz do Chapeco is one of 106 projects totaling 16,022 MW that have qualified to sell power in Brazil’s upcoming power auctions. (HNN 7/2/07)