Tucurui, Brazil’s second largest dam with a capacity of 4125MW, will be the centrepiece of the privatisation of Eletronorte, which is expected to take place by June 2000. The buyer of Tucurui will have to take on the responsibility for finishing its expansion which is expected to add 4000MW of capacity by 2002.

Eletronorte will be divided into six units for the privatisation. The Tucurui dam com-pany will be the most important unit and will be known as Tucurui Geracao SA.

The president of Electrobras, Firminio Sampaio, told the Senate’s Commission on Services and Infrastructure that Eletronorte’s sale prospectus might be ready by December. Energy minster Rodolpho Tourinho claimed in September that the separation of Eletronorte’s assets should be completed by the end of October 1999.

It is still not clear whether Eletronorte will be sold outright to private investors or if electricity distribution companies with the federal government will be allowed large stakes in the company.

Eletronorte has been moved forward in the privatisation timetable to take the place of Brazil’s most important energy generating company, Furnas Centrais Electricas. The Eletronorte sale has no difficult legal obstacles to overcome, unlike that of Furnas.