SAO PAULO: Brazilian energy company Empresa Metropolitana de Águas e Energia (Emae) is seeking partners for a $1.7 billion thermoelectric power project due to be tendered in an upcoming government auction, its chief executive told Reuters.

The company, owned by the state of Sao Paulo, is in talks with potential investors for the 1.7 gigawatt capacity natural gas project, and the so-called Piratininga Thermal Block I project has already obtained environmental permits from state licensing agencies, Emae CEO Ronaldo Souza Camargo said.

The project is due to be tendered in the federal government's next energy auction, the so-called A-6, due to take place on Oct. 17, and would involve the replacement of units of the former Piratininga plant, in São Paulo.

“Because these negotiations are confidential, what I can advance is that we have groups of funds. We have four groups, from three countries, interested … one Brazilian group," said Camargo in an interview late last week.

The executive said that there is “strong political will" in favor of the thermoelectric plant, which the São Paulo government estimates could generate thousands of jobs during the construction phase.

Copyright Reuters, 2019