UPDATE – Brazil again bumps dates for 3,150-MW Santo Antonio registration

A Brazilian regulator gave a last-minute one-day extension, to November 23, for bidders to register for the December 10 concession auction to build and operate the 3,150-MW Santo Antonio hydroelectric project.

Agencia Nacional de Energia Eletrica (ANEEL) also announced a second extension, until November 30, for bidders to deposit guarantees in order to participate. It previously extended the deposit date to November 26. (HNN 11/21/07)

ANEEL said guarantees equal to 1 percent of projected investments in the plant are to be deposited at the headquarters of the Camara de Comercializacao de Energia Eletrica, Alameda Santos, 745, terreo, bairro Cerqueira Cesar, Sao Paolo. Passwords then will be distributed for access to the electronic auction.

The official notice is on ANEEL’s Internet site, www.aneel.gov.br, under the link www.aneel.gov.br/aplicacoes/editais_geracao/documentos_editais.cfm?IdProgramaEdital=61.

Santo Antonio is one of the two big projects comprising the 6,450-MW Madeira River complex. Santo Antonio and it sister project, 3,300-MW Jirau, also on the Madeira, previously were delayed by a complicated environmental licensing process and more recently by the federal accounting watchdog TCU, which has to rubberstamp the project. (HNN 10/23/07)

Brazil’s development bank, Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimiento Economica e Social (BNDES), announced it would finance up to 75 percent of the cost of development of Santo Antonio. (HNN 11/9/07)

Acting Mines and Energy Minister Nelson Hubner has said there are four consortia interested in building and operating Santo Antonio in Rondonia State.

Suez Energy Brasil, a unit of France’s Suez, seeks the concession jointly with Brazil’s Centrais Eletricas do Sul do Brasil (Eletrosul), part of federal power giant Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras S/A (Eletrobras). Construction conglomerate Construtora Norberto Odebrecht and state power company Furnas Centrais Eletricas make up another consortium.

The other two are engineering group Camargo Correa with power firm Companhia Hidreletrica do Sao Francisco (Chesf) and engineering firm Alusa with Centrais Eletricas do Norte do Brasil (Eletronorte), another Eletrobras unit.

Hubner also said power distributors like CPFL Energia, Light S.A., and Companhia Energetica de Minas Gerais (Cemig) are considering their participation, on their own or in consortia. However, the chief executive of Light said October 10 that private power companies cannot compete equally with the big state-owned utilities. (HNN 10/16/07)

A technical presentation on the feasibility studies of Santo Antonio is available on the Internet site of Brazilian electricity regulator Agencia Nacional de Energia Eletrica (ANEEL). The presentation, available at www.aneel.gov.br/complexomadeira, includes a video recording of a clarification session presented by the companies that developed the studies, Odebrecht and Furnas. Also available are numerous documents on Santo Antonio and Jirau.

The ministry also said an auction would be held in 2008 for a concession to build the transmission line linking Santo Antonio to the national grid. Jirau is expected to be auctioned in early 2008.

The Jirau and Santo Antonio dams would be built 84 kilometers and 119 kilometers from the Bolivian border on the Madeira, an Amazon River tributary. The two hydro projects, with 44 turbines each, have an estimated cost of 22 billion reais (US$11.6 billion). Santo Antonio is expected to begin delivering power in 2012 under a 30-year contract.

For information, contact ANEEL at (55) 61-21928906; E-mail: institucional@aneel.gov.br.

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