The company is already studying the half dozen projects in Peru – Inambari (2000MW), Paquitzapango (2000MW), Sumabeni (1074MW), Urubama (940MW), Vizcatan (750MW) and Cuquipampa (800MW).

Eletrobras is also seeking to develop the 2000MW Garabi scheme in Argentina.

The projects are key elements of the company’s Strategic Action Programme over 2009-12, which also includes construction of 11,000km of transmission lines. Eletrobras estimated the total investment cost to be approximately R$30.2B (US$13.4B), most of which it would organise funding though about R$4.2B (US$1.86B) is to come through partnerships, it said.

In the third quarter last year, the company confirmed to the Peruvian Government that it was looking at possible hydro power projects. At the time, the company said the projects included Inambari and Paquitzapango which were then given with potential installed capacities of 1355MW and 1379MW, respectively. Inambari was cited with an investment budget of US$2B and both plants were being planned to be operational by 2014.

France’s GDF Suez and Peruvian mining company Buenaventura have also been looking at potential hydro power projects.

Also in Q3 last year, Brazil and Argentina signed an agreement to investigate further development of the hydropower resources of the Uruguai river on the border region, especially the Garabi scheme. It was agreed that Eletrobras would co-operate with Argentinan firm Emprendimientos Energeticos Binacionales (Ebisa) on the Garabi project, cited then as potentially have capacity of 1500MW.