Mitsui & Co to acquire 20% stake in Brazilian hydro project for €2.2bn

Japanese conglomerate Mitsui & Co is set to acquire 20% stake in 3,750MW Jirau hydro power plant in Brazil from electric utility firm GDF SUEZ on an equity value of BRL5.7bn (€2.2bn).

Following this transaction, GDF will hold a 40% stake, while Eletrobrás owns 20% stake each through its subsidiaries Chesf and Eletrosul.

The company said the stake sale is in line with its track record to develop large contracted projects in partnership.

GDF SUEZ chairman and CEO Gérard Mestrallet said that the company is pleased to add Mitsui as its partner for the major Brazilian project that is aimed towards supporting the growing energy demand in the country.

“It is part of GDF SUEZ strategy to partner with strong industrial companies to facilitate the completion of major developments,” added Mestrallet.

The project planned on the Madeira River in the State of Rondônia will comprise 50 turbines. Further, the company expects capex of around BRL16bn (€ 6.1bn) till the completion of the project.

GDF has secured credit facility from Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES) and a group of commercial banks. It has also secured operational license and environmental license for the Jirau project.

Besides, a pool of distribution companies have secured 30-year power purchase agreements (PPAs) procuring 73% of power from the Jirau project, while the remaining have been contracted to the existing shareholders.