Brazil's federally owned bank Banco do Brasil (BB) has agreed to provide a US$42M loan for the construction of the 360MW Rio das Antas hydroelectric complex.

The money is part of a loan package from the national development bank BNDES, for whom Banco do Brasil will act as agent. BB will structure the financing and manage the guarantees for the project.

Rio das Antas project is comprised of three dams, to be constructed on the Rio das Antas river in Brazil’s southernmost state of Rio Grande do Sul.

The complex is made up of the 130MW Monte Claro dam which started construction in 2002, the 130MW Castro Alves project, construction of which is scheduled begin in this year, and another 100MW project, expected to commence in May. The first Monte Claro turbine is scheduled to come on line in October, and the second in December.

The Ceran consortium – made up of Brazilian power company CPFL (65%), Rio Grande do Sul state-controlled distributor CEEE (10%) and engineering company Engevix (5%) – is developing the complex.