Conduit, Comexhidro sell three Mexico hydro plants to Enel

Equity investment firm Conduit Capital Partners LLC and Corporacion Mexicana de Hidroelectricidad (Comexhidro) sold three small Mexican hydroelectric projects December 6 to a Dutch subsidiary of Italian utility Enel SpA.

Enel said its Enel Investment Holding B.V. acquired 100 percent of project operator Impulsora Nacional de Electricidad S. de R.L. de C.V. (Inelec) for US$156 million. Conduit said its Latin Power Fund II had held 70 percent of Inelec.

Inelec holds three hydropower projects in western Mexico totaling 52 MW: 8-MW Trojes, completed on the Barreras River in Jalisco State in 2003; 14-MW Chilatan, completed in 2005 on the Corongoros River in Michoacan State; and 30-MW El Gallo, completed in 2007 on the Cutzmala River in Guerrero State.

Conduit said it and partner Comexhidro began developing the three Inelec plants as greenfield projects in 2001. Conduit said they are the first privately owned hydroelectric plants to be developed in Mexico.

Enel announced in November that it was finalizing a hydro purchase from Conduit, but did not identify the projects. (HNN 11/16/07) In October, Enel Chief Executive Fulvio Conti said the utility was �looking with interest� at a small hydroelectric investment in Mexico.

The three hydro projects employ state-of-the-art technology and are built downstream from existing irrigation dams, allowing them to generate electricity with few additional environmental effects while generating carbon reduction credits that are sold on the international market. (HNN 4/9/07)

BNP Paribas acted as financial adviser to Conduit and its local partners on the sale.

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