EUR37 million of the total investment are earmarked for social and environmental programmes to conserve local fauna and flora, and resettle the population.

Sao Salvador will be able to fulfill its commitment to the Brazilian Electric Power Regulator to supply electricity one year in advance.

GDF SUEZ had already sold the plant’s total 148.5 MW annual average guaranteed energy output, under 30-year term power purchase agreements for a global value of EUR2 billion, at power auctions in Brazil in 2006. The project was included in Brazil’s Programme for Acceleration of Growth and is the first electricity generation project to benefit from favourable financing conditions under that programme.

“The commissioning of Sao Salvador consolidates the Group’s position as Brazil’s main private power generator, and demonstrates the Group’s interest in investing in a sustainable expansion of the Brazilian electricity supply. We are currently constructing two additional big hydro plants, Estreito (1,087 MW) and Jirau (3,300 MW) – the latter being the country’s largest infrastructure project today”, commented Dirk Beeuwsaert, in charge of the Energy International Division of GDF Suez.

Gerard Mestrallet, chairman and chief executive officer of GDF Suez said, “With the constantly growing demand for electricity in the country, Brazil is at the heart of our Group’s strategic development in Latin America. Our portfolio of hydro projects provides an excellent platform from which to pursue profitable and sustainable growth generating clean energy.”