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Celesc to transfer stake in 1,140-MW Machadinho to partners

Brazilian regulators have authorized utility Centrais Eletricas de Santa Catarina S.A. (Celesc) to transfer its ownership of the 1,140-MW Machadinho hydroelectric project to its partners in the project.

Agencia Nacional de Energia Eletrica (ANEEL) said it allowed Celesc to transfer its 14.63 percent participation in Machadinho Energetica S/A (Maesa), which owns 83.06 percent of the hydroelectric project. Tractebel Energia owns the remaining 16.94 percent of the hydro project.

With Celesc's exit from Maesa, remaining partners and their shares in Maesa are: Alcoa Aluminio S/A, 31.8936 percent; Camargo Correa Cimentos, 6.5368 percent; Companhia Brasileira de Aluminio (CBA), 34.099 percent; Companhia Estadual de Geracao e Transmissao de Energia Eletrica (CEEE-GT), 6.8514 percent; Departamento Municipal de Eletricidade de Pocos de Caldas (DME), 3.3855 percent; Valesul Aluminio S/A, 10.274 percent; and Votorantim Cimentos Brasil Ltda., 6.9597 percent.

ANEEL also authorized Celesc to transfer its participation of 12.15 percent in the Machadinho Consortium to the Maesa members making their participation the consortium Alcoa, 26.49 percent; Camargo, 5.42 percent; CBA, 28.32 percent, CEEE-GT, 5.69 percent; DME, 2.81 percent; Valesul, 8.53 percent; and Votorantim, 5.78 percent, with Tractebel holding the remaining 16.94 percent of the consortium.

In December 2006, Tractebel's parent, Belgium-based Suez Energy, was winning bidder for Celesc's 12.15 percent stake in the Machadinho Consortium. (HNN 12/7/06) However, that acquisition could not be confirmed if the Maesa shareholders exercised their rights to buy the stake at the bid price.

The sale is part of Celesc's plans to divest generation assets to comply with Brazilian law requiring utilities to separate their distribution operations from their generation business.

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