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AES China acquires stake in small hydro developer

AES Corporation's wholly owned subsidiary, AES China Hydropower Investment Co. Pte. Ltd., has entered into an agreement to acquire a 49 percent interest in the Jianghe Rural Electricity Development Co Ltd. joint venture, AES announced.

AES China Hydropower is acquiring the interest from the China Water Affairs Group for RMB 333.2 million (US$48.8 million). Jianghe Rural includes six small hydro projects located in China's Yunnan and Fujian provinces, with a combined capacity of 241 megawatts, AES reported.

Acquisition of 35 percent ownership was completed on June 3, 2010, and the transfer of the remaining 14 percent ownership, which is subject to approval by the Chinese government, is expected to occur by the end of 2010.

Jianghe Rural develops, constructs and operates small to medium hydro projects in China. It was founded as a joint venture between China Water Affairs Group, an investor in water supply and treatment services in China, and the China Water Investment Group, a wholly owned subsidiary of the China Three Gorges Corporation that specializes in the development and operation of renewable energy projects in China.

AES China currently operates the 25-MW Cili hydroelectric power plant in Hunan province, and the Jianghe Rural small hydropower projects will increase its aggregate hydroelectric operating capacity to approximately 266 megawatts.

Recently, China Hydroelectric Corporation, a consolidator, developer and operator of small hydro projects, signed definitive agreements to acquire a portion of the Minrui hydro projects in China's Yunnan Province.

CHC had previously announced the execution of a memorandum of understanding to acquire 100 percent of the Minrui group of projects, which included four operating hydroelectric projects aggregating 66 megawatts, three projects under construction aggregating 125 megawatts and the development rights to nine projects aggregating 341 megawatts.

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