EDP breaks stigma of the sector and anticipates plant in eight months
By Camila Maia | From São Paulo
EDP Energias do Brasil anticipated, for the second consecutive time, the entry into operation of a hydroelectric power plant, and will profit from the sale of energy generated in the short-term market. Rare accomplishment in a sector marked by delays in works, both of power generation and transmission.
The company achieved yesterday authorization of the National Electric Energy Agency (Aneel) to start the commercial operation of the first machine of the hydroelectric power plant Cachoeira Caldeirão, eight months in advance of the regulatory deadline.
The plant, located in Araguiri River, in Amapá, will have 219 megawatts (MW) of power. The first machine, which previously operated under test, has 73 MW.
“The other two machines are also ahead of schedule, the expectation is that they are also put into service in advance”, said the company’s president, Miguel Setas, in an interview with Valor. The regulatory deadline of these machines is March and May of next year.
This is not the first time that EDP advances the startup of a project. In 2014, Aneel authorized the commencement of business of the first generating unit of hydroelectric power plant Santo Antônio do Jari, with 123.3 MW, with just over three months in advance.
In the construction of Cachoeira Caldeirão, EDP repeated the partnership with China Three Gorges (CTG), each with 50% of the projects. This is the same structure of Jari. In addition, the two hydroelectric power plans have in common the construction company responsible for the works: Cesbe, from the state of Paraná.
At the time it anticipated Jari, EDP profited from the sale of energy generated in the anticipated period in the free market, at a time when prices in the short term were close to the then current regulatory ceiling of R$ 822 per megawatt hour (MWh). According to Setas, as the difference settlement price (PLD, reference in the short-term market) is low, lower than R$ 100 / MWh, the capacity to generate additional revenue is lower.
“In terms of revenue, obviously we will not have such a favorable scenario as was the case of the first anticipated plant [Jari], but this shows that it was not a fluke, the company has developed expertise in the ability to anticipate works, executing commitments within time and on budget”, he said.
Getting to deliver the work in advance is a reason for pride for the business executive, especially in a context of uncertainty, in which much of the country’s infrastructure construction is lagging. “The company was not fazed by that, we continue our focus on execution, we continue with our commitment”, he said.
With a conservative financial profile relative to its peers, EDP keeps distance from large operations in the market. Frequently, Setas says he “considers every opportunity”, but always keeping the focus on the implementation of projects in the portfolio.
EDP is also a member of CTG in the construction of the hydroelectric plant São Manoel, currently under works, which includes the participation of Furnas, each with one-third share. The plant has 49% of the works completed, but in this case, the expectation for anticipation of completion is lower.
As the plant is larger, with 700 MW of power, complexity is also much higher, says Setas. “It is a plant that has a greater technical challenge, we are not communicating any kind of anticipation, it operate within the regulatory period in 2018”.
“Obviously we have the internal objective of anticipating, but the commitment to the market, investors and the regulator is to operate within the established period”, he added.