June 6, 2019 / 9:28 PM / 10 days ago

Brazil's Focus Energia in talks to buy São Roque hydro plant: sources

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Brazilian electricity trader Focus Energia is in talks to buy the São Roque hydroelectric plant in the state of Santa Catarina, a Nova Engevix-controled project that has ground to a halt near completion, two sources told Reuters.

The talks are at an advanced stage, but the deal would depend on an endorsement from the National Electric Energy Agency (Aneel), as the hydroelectric plant is at risk of having its concession revoked by the regulator, SAID the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the talks are confidential.

A spokesman for Focus Energia declined to comment. Nova Engevix said that “it does not comment on companies that show interest in the São Roque plant.”

“Focus has an interest and is working to make it work,” said one of the people, adding that the completion of the plant will still require an investment of around 400 million reais.

The project has already received investments of around 500 million reais ($128.70 million).

“It is still necessary to define some points, but they have shown a lot of interest in continuing with the work,” said the second source.

Construction of the plant, which is slated to have an installed capacity of 142 megawatts, ground to a halt after Engevix’s involvement in the “Car Wash” scandal, a graft scheme uncovered by Brazilian prosecutors which pulled back the curtain on years of corruption between companies and politicians.

The company later rebranded itself as Nova Engevix.

Reporting by Luciano Costa; editing by Grant McCool

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