July 10, 2008

Tractebel Energia to Acquire Two Hydro Plants in Brazil

Tractebel Energia, Suez Energy International's subsidiary in Brazil, has signed a share purchase agreement for the acquisition of two small hydro-electric plants with a total installed capacity of 50.3MW.

The 26.6MW Rondonopolis and 23.7MW Jose Gelazio plants, which are already in commercial operation, are located in the Mato Grosso state, close to Tractebel Energia's 176MW Ponte de Pedra plant, which it recently acquired.

The plants are contracted to sell their electricity to Eletrobras, the major Brazilian power utility under 20-year power purchase agreements (PPAs) until 2027. These PPAs are part of the Brazilian Proinfa program, which aims to increase the amount of power generated by wind, small hydro and biomass in the overall power generation mix.

Tractebel Energia has paid BRL314 million for the two plants, including BRL204 million in equity, and a net financial debt of BRL110 million. The official sale process was started in April 2008, and Suez's offer was accepted as the winning bid on June 30, 2008.

It is expected that the deal will be closed by the end of 2008, after the approval of the change of ownership by Eletrobras; the lenders including Caixa Economica Federal, Bradesco and Banco do Brasil; and Agencia Nacional de Energia Eletrica, the Brazilian energy sector regulator.

Dirk Beeuwsaert, CEO of Suez Energy International, said: "Our growth in Brazil is stable and sustainable. Tractebel Energia continues its expansion and delivers excellent results. Recently, we won the concession for Jirau, a 3,300MW-installed greenfield hydro project in the country. Prospects remain positive and we believe other opportunities are ahead."