Brazil’s Mines and Energy Minister, Rodolpho Tourinho, said that Brazil is planning to sell concessions to private companies to build 16 hydroelectric dams. The dams are expected to generate a total of 6474MW of electricity.

Eleven dams would be located on the Tocantins river in the north of the country. The companies that win the concessions are expected to invest an estimated US$7.9B to build the dams over the next few years.

The National Electric Energy Agency will oversee the auctions of the consessions. The sale of rights to build dams and the privatisation of electric utilities are part of Brazil’s plans to boost electricity generation in the country and raise money to reduce the budget deficit.

The announcement to sell the concessions came after a decision was made to shift the coordination of the sale of state electricity industry assets from the development industry, to the Energy Ministry. Brazil hopes that this move will speed up privatisations.