Italy’s Enel takes control of Panama’s 300-MW Fortuna

Italy’s Enel has bought an additional 24.45 percent stake in Panama’s 300-MW Fortuna hydroelectric project for US$161.3 million, raising its stake to 49 percent.

Enel said February 2 the purchase, from emerging markets power company Globeleq of the United States, gives it full operating control of Fortuna, on Panama’s Chiriqui River. Fortuna supplies about 30 percent of Panama’s power.

“Fortuna represents an excellent platform for further developing Enel Latin America’s hydro portfolio,” the statement said.

In 2006, Enel Investment Holdings BV purchased a minority stake in Fortuna from Hydro-Quebec International of Canada for US$100 million. (HNN 8/4/06) Panama’s government owns 49.9 percent of Fortuna and the unit’s pension fund has 1.1 percent.

Earlier that year, Globeleq completed purchase of power assets from El Paso Corp. of the United States including a stake in Fortuna. (HNN 4/21/06)

�Divesting our interest in Fortuna is consistent with the strategy we have followed since Globeleq began,� CEO Torbjorn Caesar said. �We prefer to operate the power businesses we own.�

In 2005 Fortuna had revenues of US$128.7 million and earnings before interest and taxes of US$66.6 million.

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