Brazil bank funds construction of 3,150-MW Santo Antonio

Brazil’s national development bank has approved 6.1 billion reais (US$2.5 billion) in financing for construction of the 3,150-MW Santo Antonio hydroelectric project on Brazil’s Madeira River.

Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Economico e Social (BNDES) said December 18 the financing was granted to Santo Antonio Energia (SAESA), a wholly owned subsidiary of Madeira Energia S.A. The consortium includes Furnas Centrais Eletricas S/A, Odebrecht Investimentos em Infra-estrutura Ltda., Construtora Norberto Odebrecht S.A., Andrade Gutierrez Participacoes S/A, Cemig Geracao e Transmissao S/A, and Fundo de Investimentos e Participacoes Amazonia Energia (formed by banks Banif and Santander).

BNDES said Santo Antonio received the largest financing granted to a single project in bank history. It also is the largest electric power undertaking to be funded under Brazil’s Growth Acceleration Program (PAC), which provides more favorable financing investors. (HNN 12/4/08)

Santo Antonio is to have a total of 44 turbine-generators of about 72 MW each, the first starting up in May 2012. The investment is to create 21,700 jobs and supply power to 15 million people.

BNDES said it set requirements that will enable utility companies to provide affordable rates to consumers, once BNDES allowed a 35 percent discount in the concession bid. The amount approved by BNDES for construction of Santo Antonio was based on the financial structure chosen by the company, in the form of project finance.

BNDES said it funded 46.6 percent of the project amount and, with participation of other financial institutions, the amount financed totals 65.7 percent of total investment. Other participating institutions include Santander, Bradesco, Unibanco, BES Investimento do Brasil, Caixa Economica Federal, Banco do Brasil, Banco do Nordeste, and Banco da Amazonia.

Andritz VA Tech Hydro said in December it received a 250 million euro (US$317.2 million) contract to supply 12 turbine-generators and voltage regulating systems for Santo Antonio, in Brazil’s Rondonia State. (HNN 12/1/08) In September, Alstom Hydro said it received a 500 million euro (US$708 million) contract to supply Santo Antonio 19 bulb turbines, 22 generators, and 50 percent of the project’s hydro-mechanical and lifting equipment.

BNDES said the project includes social investments of 50 million reais (US$20.9 million), as suggested by BNDES, in addition to investments arising from environmental licensing. The social investments are to focus on job creation, human resources training, and social infrastructure such as health, education, leisure, transport, and safety.

Santo Antonio is being built on the Madeira River with a sister project, 3,300-MW Jirau. (HNN 12/29/08)

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