Impsa to sell wind power plants in Brazil

Brazilian renewable-energy developer Casa dos Ventos Energias Renovaveis Ltda. is among the companies in advanced talks.

Industrias Metalurgicas Pescarmona SA, the Argentine wind-turbine maker known as Impsa, is in advanced talks with two companies to sell a big part of its wind energy parks in Brazil.

A Brazilian company and an international buyer are negotiating to acquire a significant portion of Impsa’s 810 megawatts of wind farms that either are in operation or under construction in the country, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the deals haven’t been completed.

Impsa’s generation assets in Brazil may be worth as much as 4.9 billion reais ($2.2 billion), according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

Ismael Jadur, Impsa’s manager of institutional relations, confirmed by e-mail that its Brazilian unit Energimp has hired banks to help advise on the sale of some assets, without providing additional details. Mendoza, Argentina-based Impsa said earlier this year it’s seeking to sell assets to cut debt.

The Brazilian unit racked up debt to cover operating expenses amid a legal dispute with Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras SA (ELET6), the government-run utility known as Eletrobras, the first person said. Impsa received $136 million from Eletrobras in December after suing the utility for back payments on power purchases from wind parks in Santa Caterina state. Eletrobras’s press office in Rio de Janeiro didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Tougher competition among wind-power producers is driving down prices and making the market less attractive, the first person said. Competition is rising as companies such as CPFL Energias Renovaveis SA (CPRE3) and Renova Energia SA (RNEW11), Brazil’s largest and second-largest wind-power producers, are expanding their portfolios through acquisition and planning larger projects.

Impsa has 330 megawatts of wind farms in operation in Brazil and 480 megawatts under construction, the company’s press office said in an e-mail. It’s the third-biggest producer of wind energy in Brazil with a market share of 6.4 percent, according to New Energy Finance. Wind turbines account for 90 percent of its revenue.