Chile utility buys three hydros, 141 MW, from Spain’s Iberdrola

Chilean utility Compania General de Electricidad S.A. (CGE) has agreed to purchase holding companies of three Chilean hydroelectric projects totaling 141 MW from Spanish utility Iberdrola.

Iberdrola agreed to sell to CGE unit CGE Generacion its 94.74 percent stake in Iberoammericana de Energia (Ibener) and its 55 percent stake in Empresa Electrica Lican for US$297.55 million.

Ibener owns the 75-MW Peuchen and 49-MW Mampil hydroelectric projects on the Duqueco River in VIII Region of Bio-Bio, 72 kilometers east of Los Angeles. Empresa Electrica Lican is developing the 17-MW Lican hydroelectric project, under construction the Lican River at Lake Puyehue in XIV Region of Los Rios.

While the deal represents Iberdrola’s exit from Chile, it consolidates the entry of the century-old CGE into the generation sector in Chile. The acquisition is added to Grupo CGE’s overall investment of US$240 million in 2009.

CGE announced in April that it plans to begin construction in the second half of 2009 of the 136-MW Nuble hydroelectric project in the Bio-Bio Region of southern Chile. (HydroWorld 4/30/09) Construction of the run-of-river project, on the Nuble River at San Fabian de Alico, is to require a total investment of about US$240 million.

CGE has said it will continue pre-feasibility studies to determine the desirability of developing other hydroelectric projects associated with water rights the company owns on various Chilean rivers. CGE has water rights to develop a total of 400 MW of hydropower in Chile, which it is investigating through CGE Generacion.

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