Iberdrola sells Guatemala power utility stakes for $326m 

Iberdrola is selling all its indirect shareholding in four Guatemalan utilities to the Columbian company Empresas Públicas de Medellín (EPM) for $326.45m as it tightens its focus on Mexico and Brazil.

The deal covers 49 per cent of Distribuidora Electrica Centroamericana Dos SA (DECAII), 100 per cent of Gestión de Empresas Eléctricas SA (Gesa), 51 per cent of Generadores Hidroeléctricos SA (Genhidro), and 3.12 per cent of Hidronorte SA. Iberdrola expects a net gain of €100m ($138m).

Iberdrola aims to focus its Latin American presence on Mexico and Brazil. The firm has over 5 GW of installed capacity in Mexico, where it is the leading private power company. In Brazil it has 39 per cent of Neoenergía, the largest distributor in the northeast.

DECA II’s other shareholders – TECO Guatemala Holdings (30 per cent) and Energias de Portugal SA (EDP) (21 per cent) – also sold their shares in the distribution company to Empresas Públicas de Medellín.

Northeast Utilities buys NSTAR in $4.17bn stock deal and plans $9bn investment

Northeast Utilities is combining with NSTAR in a $4.17bn all-stock deal to create a power and gas utility that will supply more customers in New England.

The merged company will spend $9bn on New England’s infrastructure over the next five years, said Northeast Utilities. The two firms earlier agreed to invest $1.1bn in new transmission lines to Quebec to bring in hydroelectric energy by 2015.

After the merger, which is subject to federal and state regulations as well as shareholders’ approval, Northeast Utilities would operate six regulated electric and gas utilities in Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Hampshire.

Alstom and BrightSource Energy step up solar partnership for thermal plants

Alstom and BrightSource Energy have announced a business partnership to provide solar thermal power plants, in particular in the Mediterranean ring and Africa.

The agreement follows Alstom’s $55m investment in BrightSource Energy in May this year. “This partnership is a further step in Alstom’s commitment to solar thermal power, alongside its strong renewable power portfolio in hydro and wind power,” said Alstom Power president Philippe Joubert.

BrightSource Energy’s Luz Power Tower (LPT) technology produces electricity with a conventional turbine. Thousands of heliostats reflect sunlight onto a boiler on a tower. Steam is air-cooled and piped back into the system in a closed-loop, environment-friendly process.

SNC-Lavalin buys up Quebec nuclear consultant to offer specialized services

Canadian engineering company SNC-Lavalin has acquired Nucleonex, a Montreal-based nuclear safety consulting firm.

Nucleonex’s expertise covers nuclear safety analysis, licensing support and regulatory affairs, risk management, environmental qualification, plant life cycle management and training simulator updates. The company delivers nuclear safety studies and services and also provides operations support to nuclear utilities.

“With the additional expertise of Nucleonex’s personnel, we are positioned to offer our clients specialized services in a niche market,” said Patrick Lamarre, executive vice-president SNC-Lavalin Group Inc.

Toshiba expands Chinese hydro equipment plant

Toshiba has expanded an hydroelectric generation equipment plant in China.

The firm holds 80 per cent of plant operator Toshiba Hydro Power Co (THPC), a joint venture with China’s Sinohydro Corporation.

The investment doubles the factory’s output and enables it to manufacture 600 MW hydro turbines and generators. Floor space is up 60 per cent to 14 000 m2 and a research centre has been established.

The expansion positions THPC to meet growing demand for hydro power in China and the world market, especially India and Southeast Asia, said Toshiba. Since 2005 THPC has supplied about 100 hydro turbines and generators, mainly to Chinese projects.

Poland shortlists three bidders for stake in Enea

Poland’s treasury ministry has shortlisted three bidders for a 51 per cent stake in Enea, the country’s third-largest electricity generator, for which Electricité de France and GDF Suez, the Czech Republic’s Energeticky a Prumyslovy Holding and Poland’s Kulczyk Holding are competing.

While the ministry had not named the shortlisted bids, the Financial Times reported that a person close to the talks said the Czech group has been excluded.

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Aker joint venture: Aker Solutions Matasis has been established by Aker Solutions in South Africa (74 per cent) and South African investment company Matasis Invesment Holdings (26 per cent) to offer project management, design, engineering and construction management services.

Clyde Bergemann hub: The energy systems and solutions supplier has set up Clyde Bergemann Indonesia (CBIA) to support sales and marketing of all the company’s six business fields in the high potential markets of Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines.

CPower takeover: Constellation Energy has completed its acquisition of the energy management and demand response provider, extending its dispatchable demand response capacity to over 1.5 GW.

Ex-Im backing for Sasan: The US Export-Import Bank has extended a $917m export finance guarantee for exports from Milwaukee-based Bucyrus International and other US firms for Reliance Power’s 3960 MW Sasan Power Plant in India. Reliance has committed to the bank to build a 250 MW renewable facility.

GE solar offer: GE’s solar portfolio has been extended with products including thin film panels based on cadmium telluride and Brilliance solar inverters based on units in GE’s 1.5 MW wind turbines. Utility scale solar plants are available in 700 kW and 1 MW power blocks.

Kardemir hydro investment: The Turkish long steel producer has paid €10m ($13.8) to wholly acquire Enbati Elektrik Uretim San ve Tic AS, due to build a 22.5 MW hydro plant on the river where Kardemir already obtains water for production.

Nexans Qatar joint venture: Qatar International Cable Company (QICC) has started commercial production at its new plant and targets $100m in business by 2011. The factory focuses on low, medium and low-end high voltage power cables for energy infrastructures and building projects as well as special cables for the oil and gas industry.

Trojan Carmanah tie-up: Trojan Battery’s deep-cycle lead acid batteries are to provide energy storage for the Canadian manufacturer Carmanah Technology Company’s EverGEN line of outdoor solar LED lights.

UTC Clipper buyout: UTC has paid £70m ($112m) to expand its 49.9 per cent share in the California-based wind turbine manufacturer to total ownership. Clipper had earlier revealed “significant liquidity strain”.

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