Brazil’s Energisa closes sale of hydro portfolio to Brascan

Brazil utility Energisa S.A. announced January 3 it closed the sale of 11 small hydroelectric projects totaling 45.37 MW and four proposed projects to hydropower operator Brascan Energetica S.A.

Energisa is the holding company of the Cataguazes-Leopoldina Group, founded in 1905. In August, electricity regulatory Agencia Nacional de Energia Eletrica (ANEEL) approved the final reorganization of the company, with the transfer of hydro concessions and licenses from Energisa to Brascan, a subsidiary of Brookfield Asset Management of Canada. (HNN 8/22/07)

Energisa said January 3 the sales were completed for a total price of 301 million reais (US$170 million) with transferred debts of 34 million reais (US$19 million).

Operating plants, all which had been owned by Energisa unit Zona da Mata Geracao S/A, include: 21.6-MW Joao Camilo Penna (formerly called Cachoeira do Emboque), 5-MW Coronel Domiciano, 1.28-MW Mauricio, 6.46-MW Neblina, 1.41-MW Sinceridade, 6.97-MW Ervalia, 416-kW Matipo, 768-kW Roca Grande, 302-kW Cachoeira Alta, 736-kW Miguel Pereira, and 424-kW Santa Cecilia. All power produced by the operating plants is sold under long-term power contracts.

Included in the deal is a development pipeline of four greenfield hydro projects totaling 188 MW located in Brazil’s Minas Gerais State. Those had been under development by Energisa units Cat-Leo Construcoes, Industria e Servicos de Energia S/A, and Barra do Brauna Energetica S/A.

Restructuring mandated by Brazil’s new Electricity Sector Law required utilities to separate their generation functions from their transmission and distribution functions. As a result Cataguazes’ Energisa S.A. unit was transformed into a holding company controlling its distribution utilities, its thermal and hydro generating companies, and Cat-Leo Construcoes, the group’s hydro operation, maintenance, construction, and equipment company.

Brookfield Asset Management announced another Brazilian acquisition in December, the purchase of Itiquira Energetica S.A., operator of the 156-MW Itiquira hydroelectric project, from NRG Energy of the United States. (HNN 12/21/07)

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