Brazil’s Sao Paulo state’s attempt to privatise three state-owned electricity generating companies has been greeted with legal action filed against the privatisation. The action was taken by the state of Matto Grosso do Sul, which filed five injunctions against the proposed sale.

The three generating companies — Cesp Parana, Cesp Paranapenema and Cesp Tiete — were formed by splitting the assets of Sao Paulo utility Cia Energetica de Sao Paulo (Cesp). The privatisation of the three companies, already behind schedule, was to be completed within the first half of this year. The Sao Paulo state attorney’s office has already appealed against the five injunctions.

The state of Mato Grosso do Sul is against the sale of the 1814MW Porto Primavera hydroelectric project on the Parana River, which forms the Sao Paulo–Mato Grosso state border, and is a part of the generating assets of Cesp Parana. Officials said the sales of Cesp Paranapanema and Cesp Tiete scheduled may also be postponed.

The privatisation auction has attracted international interest, in spite of the economic woes that affected the Brazilian capital markets last year.