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Firm Advises Econergy International on Investments in Four Latin American Renewable Energy Projects
February 27, 2007
HOUSTON (Feb 27, 2007) Attorneys from Bracewell & Giuliani LLP’s renewable energy and Latin American practice groups recently advised Econergy International PLC, a clean energy and carbon developer, on investments in four Latin American renewable energy projects: the Beberibe wind energy project and the Areia Branca and Pipoca hydroelectric projects in Brazil, as well as the Laja hydroelectric project in Chile.
Bracewell assisted Econergy International in signing a $25.8 million investment agreement with Cataventos and Enventure Partners to develop Beberibe, a 25.5 megawatt wind energy project in the state of Ceará, Brazil. Under the terms of the agreement, Econergy International will own 80 percent of the project, which is expected to begin operating in January 2008 and generate more than 92,000 megawatt-hours of wind energy power per year.
Additionally, Bracewell also assisted Econergy with investments in two 20 megawatt hydroelectric projects in the State of Minas Gerais, Brazil: the Areia Branca project and the Pipoca project, which are both slated to begin operating in September 2008. All three of the Brazilian projects are part of federal or state renewable energy programs under which government-owned banks will provide construction financing and government-owned electric utilities will purchase the electric output from these projects for a period of at least 20 years. Econergy is already funding the continued development of Areia Branca.
“These Brazilian investments are the first of their kind for Econergy in Brazil and add to an expanding portfolio for the company as it explores opportunities for future investments,” said Benjamin L. Israel, partner with Bracewell & Giuliani.
In addition to the Brazilian projects, Bracewell’s team led negotiations with Alberto Matthei & Hijos as part of Econergy’s first transaction in the Chilean market. Econergy has committed to invest $9 million for 50 percent ownership in the 25 megawatt Laja hydroelectric project, which is expected to generate an average of 140,000 megawatt hours of energy and 69,000 Certified Emissions Reductions per year. Laja is one of the first new construction projects in Chile that does not rely on fossil fuel and has been hailed as the first of a new series of investments that will reduce Chile’s dependence upon foreign-owned natural gas, oil and coal. The project is expected to enter into commercial operations in the third quarter of 2008.
Econergy International, which has offices in the United States, Brazil and Mexico, currently has 40 clean energy projects underway throughout Latin America that are able to sell carbon credits under the Clean Development Mechanism. In addition, Econergy also takes equity stakes in projects which yield carbon credits, like wind power, small-scale hydro, bagasse cogeneration and other forms of clean energy.
Bracewell & Giuliani attorneys that advised on these matters include:
Partners: Amauri G. Costa, Benjamin L. Israel, Walter S. Keneally, and Jose Luis Vittor
Associates: Benjamin F. Heard, Jay T. Sonnenberg, Patricia Toledo, and Manuel Vera