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Brazil utility seeks partners to develop small hydro

Brazil utility Companhia Paranaense de Energia Eletrica (Copel) invites applications from potential partners to develop and operate small hydropower projects in Brazil's Parana State. Responses are due October 31.

Copel hopes to form partnerships to develop small hydro projects -- pequenas centrais hidreletricas (PCH) -- of between 1 and 30 MW. The utility seeks to commission a total of 300 MW in small plants representing a total joint investment of 1.2 billion reais (US$548 million).

Potential partners are to present basic PCH projects that already have an authorization or in the process of obtaining an authorization from federal electricity regulator Agencia Nacional de Energia Eletrica (ANEEL).

Each selected enterprise is to form a special purpose company to develop and operate the project. Copel, a state-owned utility, said it would hold majority interest and control of each such company in compliance with Parana State legislation. It said creation of the special purpose companies is conditioned on approval by the Parana legislature.

Copel said Parana already has about 80 small hydro projects totaling 900 MW that could meet the requirements of its solicitation.

The full text of Copel's solicitation is available on its Internet site, www.copel.com. Documentation and qualifying information are due by October 31.

For information, contact Edson Luiz Todesco, Superintendencia de Logistica de Suprimento, Rua Jose Izidoro Biazetto, 158, Bairro, Mossungue, Bloco A, CEP: 81200-240 Curitiba, Parana, Brasil; (55) 41-33312496; Fax: (55) 41-33312372; E-mail: edson.todesco@copel.com.

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