Eletrobras privatization to start in November

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Wednesday, March 28, 2018

The privatization of Brazil's Eletrobras will begin in mid-November and last through January 2019, CEO Wilson Ferreira Junior (pictured) said during a press conference about the state-run electric utility's latest financial results.

The executive explained that before issuing shares to dilute the government's interest, it is necessary to have the company's last, i.e. third quarter, balance sheet approved.

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Ferreira Junior's forecast also considers that related studies by development bank BNDES, which will oversee the privatization, should conclude within six months. Subsequently, Eletrobras needs to call a general shareholder meeting and reach a final decision.

Meanwhile, the government will have to approve both a federal decree allowing for the denationalization of the holding and the company's privatization bill.

ANGRA 3

Another important step in the processs relates to the future of Angra 3 nuclear power plant, whose construction stopped in 2015 due to irregularities unveiled by the Lava Jato corruption probe.

Even though the plant's owner Eletronuclear cannot be privatized, according to the federal constitution, the government needs to know if works will restart before it can take charge of the nuclear subsidiary.

Ferreira Junior argues that the project must be finished, since it is an economical, non-pollutant thermoelectric plant that, once operational, will produce energy for less than 500 reais (US$150)/MWh.

INSTALLED CAPACITY

At the end of 2018 Eletrobras plans to have total power capacity of 49.9GW, compared with currently 48.134GW. During the year some 8GW will be added, mostly through the delivery of the São Manoel and Sinop hydroelectric plants. Another portion of the holding's potency will be subtracted through asset sales.

These include 59 wind generation special purpose companies (SPCs) that are scheduled to be auctioned off on June 7, along with 11 energy transmission SPCs, whose total accounting value is estimated at 2.5bn reais.

RESULTS

Eletrobras posted a 1.73bn real-net loss in 2017. The result was partially due to a 4.18bn-real loss in the power distribution segment. In the fourth quarter, Eletrobras registered a 4bn real-net loss, reducing losses from a year earlier when it posted a loss of 6.26bn reais.

The company plans to invest around 20bn reais through 2022.