Furnas breakup plans approved by board

The board of Brazilian energy group Furnas has approved its breakup into three seperate companies. The sale of at least two of these companies could be carried out this year.

Furnas will be split into two generating companies and one transmission company pending the approval of the company`s stockholders. There are still several hurdles to overcome, according to analysts, including the allocation of debt among the three companies.

The Brazilian Development Bank has estimated that the sale of the generators Furnas G1 and Furnas G2 could still take place by the third quarter of 1999. The Bank has also confirmed that the National Privatization Council has agreed to make a R$1.2bn ($725.7m) provision for the bad debts held by the Furnas pension fund.

• The Brazilian mining and energy ministry plans to sign contracts for the construction of eight gas fired power plants by mid-June in order to inject 4000 MW into the national grid by the end of 2001.