* Loan to help pay for Angra III nuclear reactor
* Angra has been under construction for three decades
RIO DE JANEIRO Dec 27 Brazil's state-led power
utility Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras signed a
3.8-billion-real ($1.9 billion) loan accord with state-owned
bank Caixa Economica Federal to finance the construction of a
nuclear reactor, the utility said on Thursday.
The loan will finance part of the construction of the third
thermonuclear plant at the company's Angra dos Reis power
station about 100 kilometers (62 miles) west of Rio de Janeiro,
the utility, known as Eletrobras, said in a statement.
The 20-year loan will pay annual interest of 6.5 percent,
the company, Latin America's largest utility said. The loan is
guaranteed by Brazil's government.
Eletrobras shares have lost about half their value since
early September when the government announced a plan to renew
expiring hydroelectric dam concessions early in exchange for
cuts in power rates. Brazil has some of the world's highest
The cuts, expected to deliver reductions in consumer power
rates of nearly 20 percent, have prompted concern that utilities
may not be able to generate sufficient cash to finance expansion
and maintenance and will see borrowing costs
The 10-billion-real, 1,270-megawatt Angra III power reactor
has been under construction for nearly three decades, according
to Eletronuclear, Eletrobras' nuclear-power subsidiary.
Angra III is the second of two reactors based on Siemens AG
technology to be built under a 1975 accord with Germany,
Eletrobras said on its Web site.
Angra III construction began in 1984. After stopping in
1986, building was restarted in 2010 under an agreement with
France's Areva, Eletrobras said. The project is also
being financed by Brazil's state-owned development bank BNDES.
Equipment for the Angra III reactor has been in storage
since the 1980s. The first reactor at Angra, built using
U.S.-based Westinghouse technology, began producing power in
(Reporting by Jeb Blount; editing by Andrew Hay)