The Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES) approved financing of US$ 428.1 million (1 billion reais) for the construction of 16 small electric energy production units in several Brazilian states.
They are Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro, Espírito Santo and São Paulo, in the Southeast region of the country, Goiás and Mato Grosso do Sul, in the Midwest, and Santa Catarina in the South. The loan is part of the Alternative Energy Sources Program (Proinfa).
The support from the BNDES will allow electric power generation utility companies to make investments worth US$ 599.4 million (1.4 billion reais) in the installation works for 15 small hydroelectric units and one thermal-electric unit, to be fed with bagasse.
In all, the 16 energy plants will have 380 megawatts of installed capacity. The projects will generate 4,900 jobs, of which 4,700 during the construction period. The average deadline for the mills to start operating is of two years.
The Proinfa has the objective of promoting diversification of the Brazilian energy matrix as of renewable sources, like investments in small hydroelectric plants, wind energy and thermal-electric mills.
The program was launched in March 2005 and has already had another 13 projects approved by the BNDES, with financing of approximately US$ 428.1 million installed capacity of 383 megawatts and investments of US$ 685.1 million.
With the new approvals, the Proinfa reached in 2005 a total of US$ 899.1 million in financing and US$ 1.284 billion in investments for a total of 29 projects in 11 states in Brazil, corresponding to 763 megawatts of installed capacity, enough to supply a city of 2.3 million inhabitants.
Throughout of the whole of last year, the BNDES made loans worth US$ 20.12 billion to various sectors, an increase in 17.5% in comparison with the US$ 17.13 billion in 2004.
The sum, however, was inferior to the bank’s budget for 2005, which was of US$ 25.69 billion. According to the institution’s press advisory, the volume of the credit wasn’t larger due to the retraction in the agriculture and livestock sector, which suffered with the draught and appreciation of the Brazilian real in relation to the American dollar, making Brazilian products more expensive abroad.
For the industry, the bank loaned US$ 10.02 billion in 2005, a 48% increase in comparison to the US$ 6.765 billion in the previous year.
To the infrastructure segment went US$ 7.279 billion or 12.7% more than in 2004. In the "basic inputs" area, in which are great projects in the base industry, such as steelworks, petrochemicals and paper and cellulose, the loans made by the BNDES reached US$ 1.242 billion, an increase in 72% in comparison to 2004.
Loans for exports, in turn, added up to US$ 5.86 billion in 2005, or 52% more than in the previous year.
According to the BNDES press advisory, amongst the main credits given by the bank last year are the US$ 402 million for the construction of Platform P-51, a total investment worth US$ 774 million programmed by Petrobras; US$ 685.1 billion for the gas pipeline construction linking Cabiúnas, in the state of Rio de Janeiro, to Vitória, in the state of Espírito Santo, both in southeastern Brazil, and for the installation of the Urucu-Coari-Manaus gas pipeline, in the Amazon – norhtern Brazil, US$ 199.1 million for the creation of three wind energy parks in the southernmost Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul, US$ 385.3 million for the modernization of 12 steelworks plants of the Gerdau group, US$ 1.006 billion for a project for production increase in the cellulose company Suzano Bahia Sul, US$ 64.22 million for the expansion of Pecém Port, in the state of Ceará, in the northeast of Brazil, US$ 113.5 million for the recovery and increase in cargo transport capacity of Ferronorte, railway that links the state of Mato Grosso to the Santos Port, in São Paulo, US$ 133.2 million for the expansion of the city of São Paulo subway, and US$ 29.97 million for the subway in the city of Rio de Janeiro.