UPDATE – Brazil delays Madeira transmission line auction

Brazil’s electricity regulator has delayed the auction of a concession to build and operate transmission lines linking a 6,450-MW Madeira River hydroelectric complex in the Amazon to the national grid. The new auction date is November 28, extended from October 31.

Agencia Nacional de Energia Eletrica (ANEEL) said its board voted October 21 to republish the auction announcement on October 24, relaunching the process. ANEEL said the delay would not jeopardize the construction schedule for the project, previously set by ANEEL.

The agency said it also adjusted auction rules to help ensure that all seven transmission line segments attract bids. (HNN 9/12/08) Transmission lines and substations are to be auctioned in seven lots.

The line would run 2,500 kilometers to deliver power from the 3,150-MW Santo Antonio (HNN 9/17/08) and 3,300-MW Jirau hydroelectric projects (HNN 8/27/08) in Rondonia State to Araraquara in Sao Paulo State. Investment is expected to total 5 billion to 7 billion reais (US$2.9 billion to US$4 billion).

“There are two options for interested companies to bid on, either a direct current, continuous line linking Porto Velho to the main consumer market in Sao Paulo or a hybrid system with an alternating current line that can link up consumer markets and future generators along the line,” EPE Chairman Mauricio Tolmasquim said.

With the direct current option, one line would be constructed between the hydroelectric generators in the upper Amazon and consumers in Sao Paulo. The line would not link future energy generators or other consumer markets on the way.

If the alternating current model is chosen, it would include two roughly parallel lines, one of which would link several communities along the way and would have the potential to link up future electric power generators.

For information, see the ANEEL Internet site, www.aneel.gov.br, under the links Espaco do Empreendedor, Editas de Transmissao, and Leilao 007/2008.

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