22 May, 2002 – Ecuador’s power utility Emelec, which is due to auctioned by the government this month, will require at least $100m of investment funding over the next ten years, a government official said Tuesday.

The successful bidder will also need to pay $55m in outstanding debts the company has with its 1066 employees, added Jorge Trujillo, director of the national electrification council (Conelec).

The minimum bid price for the auction has been set at $130m. Offers from interested bidders need to be received by May 27 in the port city of Guayaquil. Once awarded, the concession contract will be signed within 60 to 90 days.

Since 2000, when the government first began trying to sell Emelec, the auction date has been postponed seven times.

Emelec has more than 350 000 customers in Guayaquil, supplying 37 per cent of the city’s electricity needs.

Spain’s Union Fenosa SA, Argentina’s Perez Companc and AES Corp. of the US have expressed an interest in acquiring the assets and 30-year concession to run Emelec.