Duke a Big Player in Latin American Generation
Aiming to be "as strong a company in Latin America as it is in
North America," Duke Energy International agreed to exchange $405
million for Dominion Resources' portfolio of hydroelectric, natural
gas and diesel power generation businesses - totaling 1,200 MW
gross capacity - in Argentina, Belize, Bolivia and Peru. In the
last week Duke Energy International has pledged to purchase 3,800
MW of generation capacity in Latin America in three separate
transactions for about $1.285 billion.
The transaction is expected to be completed before the end of
"This purchase, along with our recent successes in Brazil and El
Salvador, positions Duke Energy International to become Latin
America's first truly regional power generation and energy trading
and marketing company," said Duke Energy International President
Bruce A. Williamson.
In Argentina Duke will be picking up Dominion's 54% interest in
the 98 MW natural gas-fired Alto Valle power station and 98% of the
450 MW Cerros Colorados hydroelectric station. In Bolivia the
transaction involves 50% controlling interest in the 126 MW Empresa
Electrica Corani hydroelectric business.
In Peru Dominion is selling a 30% joint controlling ownership
interest in Empresa de Generacion Electrica NorPeru S.A. with
current capacity of 423 MW, principally hydroelectric power, with
some thermal generation capacity. The business is scheduled to
have 520 MW of capacity when an expansion program is completed
later this year. And in Belize Duke will have 95% interest in the
25 MW Mollejon hydroelectric facility.
Previously Duke won out in the July 30 privatization of El
Salvadorian generating companies with a bid of $125 million for
controlling interest in 275 MW of thermal power generation. It will
assume operational control of Generadora Acajutla SA de CV and
Generadora Salvadorena SA de CV, presently part of the utility
Comision Ejecutiva Hidroelectrica del Rio Lempa.
Duke also said it will spend $75 million on modernization of
Generadora Acajutla which will add about 155 MW of combined-cycle
electric generation. In announcing the investment Duke pointed out
El Salvador is the second largest economy in Central America and is
one of the most stable countries in Latin America politically and
In Brazil two days earlier Duke beat out one other bid at the
privatization auction of Sao Paulo state's electric generation
company, Paranapanema, at $680 million, paying a whopping 90% over
the base offering price.
With its latest prospective purchases, Duke's portfolio of Latin
American assets will include operations and ownership interests in
about 5,900 MW of power generation, 125 miles of natural gas
pipeline and 245 miles of electric transmission located throughout
Argentina, Brazil, El Salvador, Chile, Ecuador and Peru.
Duke Energy International a subsidiary of Charlotte, NC-based
Duke Energy, is a leading owner, operator and developer of
integrated energy projects in Asia Pacific - primarily Australia -
and Latin America. Its asset portfolio spans the energy value chain
from exploration, production, gathering, processing and
transportation of natural gas through to generation, electric
transmission and energy trading and marketing.