Aneel, Brazil’s national electricity regulator, has moved the auction date to 28 November. The agency said the change would not affect the programme schedule, and added that the contracts are to be signed in January.

The rescheduling follows amendments to the auction terms to deal with any potential risk for lack of bids for sections of the transmission link, based on the two technology options permissible – direct power only, or a mix of direct and alternating current. Originally, there were seven contracts planned and now there are five.

Originally, the two-stage auction would see assessment of technology choice followed by price. Now, the technological choices are only being examined when at least one has a valid bid to use the method. The winning technology option will be calculated from the sum of the least cost for all five contract sections.

The transmission link is to be built over three-to-four years. The contracts will have 30-year terms.

The Madeira scheme has two major hydr opower plants being built on the river Madeira in west Brazil, close to the Bolivian border. The scheme comprises the 3150MW Santo Antonio and 3300MW Jirau plants.