The news follows a successful outcome of the A-3 energy auction in Brazil on 17 August. The six units have been allocated 209MW of assured energy and 100% of this energy has been sold in the regulated market at an inflation-indexed price of R$102MWh (US$64/MWh) for 30 years commencing in 2014. The total assured energy for the whole project now amounts to 2184MW, of which 73% is contracted under long-term PPAs. The balance will be sold in the free market, principally to industrial customers. In addition, this expansion may allow for a further 90MW of assured energy to be allocated to the project.

The design of the Jirau power plant took into account the potential for additional units. As a result, this expansion will benefit from shared infrastructure and economies of scale that will add value to the project.

“The expansion of the Jirau project…reinforces our commitment to providing Brazil with clean and renewable energy. It further illustrates the Group’s strategy to increase its exposure to fast growing markets,” said Gérard Mestrallet, Chairman and CEO of GDF SUEZ.

“The energy auction price and our decision to add six units to the Jirau plant allows us to capitalize on the attractive fundamentals of the Brazilian energy market, which is characterised by strong demand growth,” added Philip Cox, CEO of International Power – which is 70% owned by GDF Suez.

Jirau is part of the Madeira hydro complex, which also includes the 3.15GW Santo Antonio project.