October 19, 2018 / 3:24 PM / a month ago

China's State Power in talks for Brazil hydro, thermal plants - source

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - China’s State Power Investment Corporation is in talks to acquire two additional hydroelectric dams and two thermal plants in Brazil, a person with knowledge of the matter said Thursday.

One of the hydroelectric dams is Usina Tres Irmaos, an 800 megawatt dam in Sao Paulo state, controlled by Brazilian infrastructure group Triunfo Participacoes e Investimentos SA (TPIS3.SA) (TPI), the person added, requesting anonymity to discuss private talks.

Brazilian newspaper Valor Economico first reported the talks over Tres Irmaos on its website on Thursday. State Power and Triunfo declined to comment.

But the source added a negotiation with Triunfo would not be easy, because the company was singled out by Brazilian prosecutors this month for not collaborating with a corruption probe investigating the its toll-road operations.

The Chinese power company is expected to present a binding offer by the end of the month for control of the Santo Antonio hydropower dam, in the northern state of Rondonia. Talks to acquire the dam have gone on for almost two years.

State Power is also considering a bid for two coal thermal plants that France’s Engie SA (ENGIE.PA) owns in the southern Brazilian states of Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul, the source said.

Engie, which put the plants up for sale six months ago, said the sale process is “ongoing”, without elaborating on bidders.

Adriana Waltrick, State Power’s Brazil country head, told Reuters in May that the company wanted to keep investing in acquisitions after paying $2.25 billion for a license to operate the São Simao hydropower plant, previously run by state-owned Companhia Energética de Minas Gerais (CMIG4.SA).

Reporting by Tatiana Bautzer; Editing by David Gregorio

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