Neoenergia unit increases stake in Brazil’s 93.6-MW Corumba 3

Brazil utility regulator Agencia Nacional de Energia Eletrica (ANEEL) has approved Energetica Corumba III S/A’s sale of 60 percent of the 93.6-MW Corumba 3 hydroelectric project to Geracao C III S/A, a unit of Brazilian utility holding company Neoenergia.

ANEEL said July 13 it also approved changes in shareholder control of the Energetica Corumba III consortium, which still owns 40 percent of the hydro project being built on the Corumba River in Goais State. Consortium member Companhia Energetica de Brasilia (CEB) increased its stake in the consortium to 37.5 percent from 15 percent, while Strata S/A and Energ Power Ltda. each reduced their stakes to 12.5 percent from 43.5 percent. CELG Geracao e Transmissao S/A retained its 37.5 percent.

Neoenergia said its joining the ownership of Corumba 3’s operating company, Consorcio Empreendedor Corumba III, made possible construction of the project, whose development concession was approved in 2001. Earlier this year, Neoenergia said it planned to invest 1.04 billion reais (US$489 million) in seven hydroelectric projects totaling 576.1 MW, including Corumba 3. (HNN 1/31/07)

On May 30, Consorcio Empreendedor Corumba III diverted the Corumba River at Luziana for construction of the dam. Work on the plant was initiated in August 2006, with completion scheduled for the end of 2007.

The project is expected to require an investment of 340 million reais (US$181.9 million). It already has a power sales agreement with consortium member CEB, the distribution utility for Brasilia’s federal district, with assured energy of 50.9 average MW.

Neoenergia, a Brazilian unit of Spanish utility Iberdrola, controls Brazilian distribution utilities Celpe, Coelba, and Cosern, plus generating assets. The company said it and its units invested 1.2 billion reais (US$564.7 million) in 2006, 45 percent more than their 2005 investment total.

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