Brazil development bank’s power funding up 207 percent

Brazil’s national development bank approved 12.8 billion reais (US$7.3 billion) in loans to the power sector in 2007, with the lion’s share going to a handful of major hydroelectric projects.

Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimiento Economica e Social (BNDES) said February 7 that power sector lending was up 207 percent in 2007 over 2006.

Major hydro projects receiving BNDES funding in 2007 included the 1,087-MW Estreito hydroelectric project on Brazil’s Tocantins River, which received financing of 2.6 billion reais (US$1.4 billion). (HNN 12/31/07)

Another major recipient, of 1.6 billion reais (US$860 million), was the 855-MW Foz do Chapeco hydroelectric project on the Uruguai River on the border of Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina states. (HNN 7/18/07)

BNDES also approved financing of 1.034 billion reais (US$593.8 million) for the 333.7-MW Simplicio hydroelectric project on Brazil’s Paraiba do Sul River. (HNN 11/19/07)

The bank noted the projects were funded under Brazil’s new program of acceleration of growth, Programa de Aceleracao do Crescimento (PAC). The first hydroelectric project to be financed under the PAC was the 243.2-MW Sao Salvador project on the Tocantins River in Tocantins State, which received 570.2 million reais (US$277 million) in March 2007. (HNN 3/23/07)

BNDES’ hydropower lending is expected to continue to be strong in 2008. It already is negotiating financing with winning concession bidder Consorcio Madeira Energia for the 3,150-MW Santo Antonio project also on the Madeira River. It also anticipates lending for the 3,300-MW Jirau project on the Madeira River, which is to be auctioned in May. (HNN 1/9/08)

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