Brazil's electric energy industry regulator Aneel is to hold an auction of power contracts on 10 October, including 18 large hydroelectric projects.

Under the terms of the latest sale, the government will sell the rights to build and operate a series of electric power projects. The concessions will last for 30 years in the case of hydroelectric plants and 15 years in the case of thermoelectric plants. Generators will also be able to sell power from new or existing projects from 2011. The concessions are won by the company offering to produce energy at the cheapest price.

The ceiling level to sell power from hydroelectric plants at the auction will be BRL125 (US$57.87) per MWh. However, in the case of six new hydro projects, specific prices were set. For the Barra do Pomba plant in Rio de Janeiro state, the ceiling price is BRL125.41 per MWh; for Cambuci plant in Rio de Janeiro state, the ceiling price is BRL152.54; the price is set at BRL120.00 for the Dardanelos project in Mato Grosso state; Maua project in Parana has a price of BRL116.35p; for the Salto Grande project in Parana, the price is BRL124.02; and the Baixo Iguacu project in Parana has a price of BRL123.01.

The government’s Energy Research Company, EPE, said it has a total 164 projects registered for the sale. The projects have a total potential capacity of 20,453MW, of which EPE estimates 13,250MW will be auctioned.

It will be the third sale of electric energy contracts since the government implemented its new system.