Bolivian Power, Chilgener enter Bolivian market

Bolivian Power Co. and Chilgener S.A., the major Chilean electric utility, have formed a strategic alliance to participate in Bolivia`s Capitalization Program for ENDE, the state-owned electric utility. Bolivian Power and Chilgener will jointly bid to acquire a generation company resulting from the breakup of ENDE, the first of six large state companies scheduled to undergo capitalization. The joint venture will also explore opportunities to export power to Argentina, Chile, Brazil and Peru.

Under Bolivia`s new electricity law, passed in December 1994, electric companies must separate generation, transmission and distribution. ENDE, in its component parts, will produce three generation companies: Empresa Corani S.A.M., hydro; Empresa Guaracachi S.A.M., thermal; and Empresa Valle Hermoso S.A.M., thermal.

Only Bolivian Power and these three newly formed generation companies will be allowed to build new capacity in Bolivia until 1999, and they have exclusive rights to export power until 1998. The capitalization of ENDE is part of a larger program designed to restructure and encourage foreign investment in the energy sector in Bolivia. The government is looking to transfer five other state-owned enterprises into the private sector.