China’s State Power Investment Corporation (SPIC) is looking for new Brazilian acquisition targets, having already paid $2bn for a license to operate a hydroelectric power plant in the country last September.

The news comes as Spanish power giant Iberdrola pledged to invest $821m over the next five years in electricity distribution networks and wind farms located in the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Norte.
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“Brazil is one of the top regional priorities for the group’s expansion,” Adriana Waltrick, the country head for SPIC, told Reuters.

SPIC aims to expand its global capacity by 30 GW worldwide through 2020. In Brazil, the Chinese group controls 2 GW, including a hydroelectric plant in the centre-western region of Brazil as well as two wind farms in the northeast.

SPIC may acquire companies or bid for licenses to build new capacity, Waltrick added.

The company already plans to build around 280 megawatts in new windfarms, although that will depend on its ability to win competitive tenders in which Brazil’s government offers generators power purchase agreements with distribution companies. The next power auction is scheduled for August.

The Chinese firm’s largest Brazilian investment has been the acquisition of the 1.7-GW Sao Simao hydroelectric plant for $2bn. The Chinese group took over the plant management last week, after six months of operation supervised by its former owner, Cemig.

Waltrick said the company was considering potential investments to upgrade the hydroelectric plant, built in 1978, but did not elaborate on how much would be spent or potential suppliers.

Meanwhile Iberdrola has pledged to invest $821m over the next five years in electricity distribution networks and wind farms located in the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Norte.

The announcement was made during the visit of the president of the Spanish firm, Ignacio Sánchez Galán, to the state governor, Robinson Faria.

The investment would include the construction of nine wind farms with 300 MW of power.

Iberdrola’s announcement comes in the midst of heated competition with Italy’s Enel over the control of Eletropaulo, Brazil’s largest power distributor.

Enel informed the market on Monday about adapting its takeover bid to the requirements established by the Brazilian stock market regulator for the auction, which will be held on June 4th.