19 October 2012

GDF SUEZ inaugurates 1,087MW Estreito hydro power plant in Brazil

17 October 2012 - GDF SUEZ, through its subsidiary Tractebel Energia, is pleased to announce the inauguration of a new 1,087MW hydroelectric power plant at Estreito in Brazil. The plant was inaugurated today by the President of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff and the Chairman and CEO of GDF SUEZ, Gerard Mestrallet. 

Estreito is owned by Tractebel Energia (40.07%), Vale (30%), Alcoa (25.49%) and Intercement (4.4%). Tractebel Energia is responsible for the operational management on behalf of the consortium. 

Gerard Mestrallet, Chairman and CEO of GDF SUEZ: “Brazil is at the heart of our Group’s strategy in Latin America. We are keen to participate in meeting the growing energy needs of the country through the development of projects that provide clean and renewable energy. As the leading private power producer in Brazil, we believe that our Brazilian portfolio provides an excellent base to achieve sustainable and profitable growth.” 

Estreito is located on the Tocantins river between the states of Tocantins and Maranhão, downstream from the São Salvador (243MW) and Cana Brava (450MW), hydro plants which are both owned and operated by Tractebel Energia. The total capacity of the plant is sufficient to meet the energy needs of 4 million people. 

The Estreito plant is part of the Brazilian Government’s Program for the Acceleration of Growth (PAC), and it has therefore benefitted from favorable finance conditions under this priority program. 

Total investment in the project is approximately 2.1 billion Euro, with debt financing through 24-year loan agreements provided by the Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES) and a group of Brazilian banks. This project represents a significant commitment in social and environmental programs, totaling 180 million Euro, aimed at providing better living standards for the local population as well as the protection of fauna and flora. 

GDF SUEZ sold its 256MW stake of guaranteed energy output in the Estreito plant at the Brazilian power auctions on 26 October 2007, in the form of 30-year term Power Purchase Agreements with distribution companies, starting from 2012. 

GDF SUEZ is currently studying several greenfield hydropower projects in Brazil, which will participate in future concession auctions, such as the São Manoel hydro power plant and the Tapajos river basin project. 

GDF SUEZ is the leading private power producer in Brazil with over 8,000MW of installed capacity and nearly 4,000MW in construction. Through the project company Energia Sustentavel do Brasil (ESBR), the Group is building the 3,750MW (50 units of 75MW each) Jirau hydro project on the Madeira river in Brazil, one of the largest infrastructure projects under construction in the country. 

GDF SUEZ employs 218,900 people worldwide and achieved revenues of €90.7 billion in 2011. The Group is listed on the Brussels, Luxembourg and Paris stock exchanges 

Source: GDF SUEZ