Brazil state, utility sign hydro pact with 12 developers

Brazil’s Goias State and its utility, CELG Geracao e Transmissao, have signed an agreement with 12 companies to begin construction of hydroelectric projects in Goais and Tocantins states totaling at least 807 MW.

The agreement, signed in late September in the state capital, marks a return to ownership of hydropower generation by CELG, the former Centrais Eletricas de Goias, whose hydropower assets were sold in a government privatization program in the late 1990s. Notable among its divestitures was the 658-MW Cachoeira Dourada project in Goais, auctioned in 1997 to a group led by Endesa Chile.

The agreement is expected to increase CELG’s ownership interests in hydropower to 208 MW from the current 18 MW. Goais Gov. Alcides Rodrigues said accelerated growth of the Goais economy compelled the state-owned utility to resume investments in hydropower generation.

A release by Goais State said among the 12 participating companies are construction company Queiroz Galvao, utility holding company Alupar, engineering firm Andrade Gutierrez, and national government utilities Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras S/A (Eletrobras) and Centrais Eletricas do Norte do Brasil (Eletronorte).

Earlier in the month, France-based developer Velcan Energy said it had signed a partnership agreement with CELG to develop two hydro projects, 64-MW Pau d’Arco on the Palma River in Tocantins and 25 to 30 MW on the Claro River in Goais. (HNN 9/11/08)

Eletronorte President Jorge Nassar Palmeira, who took part in the signing, said Eletronorte had developed inventory studies of hydroelectric potential in Brazil’s center-west region and chose CELG to be its partner in generation enterprises. Eletronorte already is a partner with CELG in the 93.6-MW Corumba 3 project on the Corumba River in Goais. (HNN 5/30/08)

Palmeira said Eletronorte’s holding company, Eletrobras, is acquiring part of the Corumba 3 enterprise and is to build two plants on the Palma River in Tocantins, 58-MW Barra do Palma and 93-MW Arraias.

Goais said the 12 companies signing the agreement are developing projects in the hydrographic inventory of Goais and Tocantins states that total 807 MW, of which 167 MW is referred to as participation by CELG. Added to that is CELG’s holdings in the 4-MW Rochedo project, which is being expanded to 13 MW; 14-MW Sao Domingos; 360-kW Mosquito; and 14 MW of participation in Corumba 3, for a total of 208.36 MW.

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