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China's State Grid acquires Brazil power assets

by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) Dec 22, 2010
China's State Grid has bought seven Brazilian power distributors for a billion dollars, the latest in a string of Chinese takeovers of South American energy assets betting on rapid growth.

State Grid has also won a 30-year licence to operate power lines and other infrastructure in Brazil's heavily populated southeast, the Chinese Assets Supervision and Administration Commission said.

The government-owned State Grid will also provide power services to Brasilia, Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, it said in a statement.

"Brazil has a stable political environment, great development potential and a huge market, with demand for electricity surging rapidly," it said.

Brazil's ANEEL electricity regulator confirmed the deal to AFP and said the purchase of the power distributors was approved in September.

A spokesman for ANEEL said the distributors had been bought from the Plena Group, which is controlled by Spanish capital.

The takeover is expected to open up access for Chinese companies to more Brazilian power projects and expand exports to the booming South American market, the Chinese statement said.

It is also expected to earn State Grid more than 110 million dollars in annual profits.

Chinese firms have ramped up investment in South America in an effort to tap the region's rapid economic growth.

Sinopec, Asia's top refiner, said earlier this month that it would buy the Argentine arm of US Occidental Petroleum Corporation for 2.45 billion dollars.

The announcement came less than two weeks after China National Offshore Oil Company and Bridas Energy Holdings agreed to buy a 60-percent stake in Argentina-based Pan American Energy from BP for 7.06 billion dollars.

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