Electric Power - Panama

Enel acquires joint stake in Fortuna

Enel acquires joint stake in Fortuna

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Italian power company Enel has acquired a 24.55% indirect stake in Panamanian hydroelectric firm Fortuna after purchasing 100% of Hydro Quebec International Latin America (HQILA).

Enel's Dutch subsidiary Enel Investment Holding bought HQILA for US$150mn from Hydro Quebec International and Fonds de Solidarité des Travailleurs du Québec, the Italian company said in a statement.

The acquisition gives Enel, jointly with partner Globeleq, nearly half of Fortuna, which operates a 300MW plant in Chiriquí province, the statement said. Globeleq, a power company, bought US company El Paso's (NYSE: EP) stake in Fortuna earlier this year.

Panama's government controls 51% of Fortuna. The remaining 49% was controlled by a special purpose company controlled by HQILA (50.1%) and El Paso (49.9%) before the Enel purchase and El Paso sell-off, according to Fortuna's website.

The plant generates about 1,600GWh a year, which represents roughly 30% of national power output.

"This acquisition represents for Enel Latin America an excellent platform for developing further its hydro portfolio," the company said.

Enel also operates in Chile, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua.