Eutilia, the electronic marketplace established by 12 prominent European utilities, has awarded the management contract to Opciona.com, owned by Spanish electricity company Endesa SA, it was announced on Monday. The contract will allow Opciona to manage all the European electricity portal’s operations for the next three years.

Eutilia was incorporated in The Netherlands in March 2001 and is predicting annual sales of €30m.

No financial details were released regarding the contract. Endesa said that competition for the contract had come from IBM, BT Ignite and Cap Gemini SA. No details of those other bids were released.

Endesa has a 63 per cent stake in Opciona, via its 100 per cent subsidiary Endesa Net Factory. Other shareholders include Enersis SA (ENI) with 15 per cent, 12 per cent held by PriceWaterhouse Coopers and Commerce One Inc. (CMRC) with 10 per cent.

The founding shareholders of Eutilia include Endesa, RWE, Enel, National Grid and Electricit�e France (EdF). In July, Endesa said Opciona carried out the first online auction on Eutilia, valued at €14m and completed on behalf of EdF.

Endesa said that since Eutilia’s April launch more than 250 auctions have been held, managing more than €601m in volume.

Eutilia is based on Pantellos, a US portal for the utility sector. It aims to be a neutral marketplace between buyer and seller offering efficiencies in the value chain processes of the utility and related industry sectors operated on a pan-European basis.

The objective is to provide a range of services which can eliminate the often long and drawn out process of procurement, much of which ahs to be repeated for each transaction. The scope of activity may include a supplier database, pre-qualification services, legal and financial services, information and training as well as e-tendering and transactions together with billing and payment.