Regulators officially qualify group to build Belo Monte hydro project in Brazil

Brazil’s power sector regulator Aneel has ratified the Norte Energia consortium, which won a tender to build and operate the 11,200-MW Belo Monte hydropower project in Brazil’s Amazon, news agencies reported.

The hydropower project has faced several delays from opponents to its construction.

According to Business News Americas, Norte Energia is led by the Chesf subsidiary of Brazilian federal utility holding group Eletrobras, with a 49.98 percent stake, and includes companies Queiroz Galvao (10.02 percent), Galvao Energia (3.75 percent), Cetenco Engenharia (5 percent), Mendes Junior (3.75 percent), Bertin (13.77 percent), Serveng (3.75 percent), and J Malucelli (9.98 percent).

According to Brazilian media reports, mining giant Vale, which was involved in the bidding, has been in talks to join Norte Energia. Other potential new partners include Gerdau, Braskem and the Votorantim Group.

In addition, Norte Energia has been in negotiations with construction firms Camargo Correa and Odebrechet, which pulled out of the race for Belo Monte because of the power rate stipulated by the government for the tender, Business News Americas reported.

Recently, the Norte Energia consortium reported that it plans to build the Belo Monte hydro project for less than the 19 billion reais (US$10.8 billion) cost estimated by the government, wire services reported.

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