Sao Paulo, Jun 25 (.) .- The Brazilian firm Equatorial Energía was awarded this Friday the concession of the public electricity distribution service of the state of Amapá, in the north of the country, for a period of 30 years, in an auction made on the Sao Paulo Stock Exchange and in which it was the only bidder.
The company obtained the concession to manage the Amapá Electricity Company (CEA) by offering the symbolic value of 50,000 reais (about $ 10,000) and committing to make an immediate capital contribution of 400 million reais (80 million dollars).
Likewise, it will have to assume debts of the state company that total about 1,100 million reais (240 million dollars).
“We will make the necessary and prudent investments to support this contribution to growth,” said the president of Equatorial Energía, Augusto Miranda, after the fight.
The privatization of CEA is part of the Investment Associations Program (PPI, for its acronym in Portuguese) of the Brazilian Ministry of Economy, which aims to grant public services to private initiative in an attempt to rebalance the country’s public accounts .
Both the Ministry of Mines and Energy, and the National Development Bank (BNDES), responsible for conducting the process, considered the privatization of CEA as one of the most “challenging” concessions to be offered to the private sector, due to its high level of indebtedness and operating complexities in the northern region of Brazil.
Created in 1956, the Amapá Electricity Company serves a population of 830,000 people and is responsible for delivering electricity to some 205,000 establishments in the 16 municipalities of the state.
Equatorial Energía assumes control of the state company in the midst of a serious energy supply crisis.
In less than a year, Amapá, bordering French Guiana and Suriname and with a population close to 900,000 people, had at least five blackouts, including one that occurred last November and that forced the electoral authorities to postpone the municipal elections in the capital, Macapá.
With this Friday’s award, the company expands its presence in the north and northeast of Brazil, since it also has control of the distributors in the states of Maranhao, Pará, Alagoas and Piauí.
It also has an important stake in the capital of Termoeléctrica Geranorte, in Maranhao, and has recently acquired the Compañía Regional de Distribución de Energía Eléctrica de Río Grande del Sur, in the extreme south of the country.
(c) . Agency