(Adds details of projects, winners, context)
By José Roberto Gomes
SAO PAULO, Dec 15 (Reuters) - French energy group Engie SA , Spain’s Elecnor, India’s Sterlite Power Grid and Brazilian company Neoenergia SA were among winners in a government auction of licenses to build power transmission lines in the country.
The four companies won rights on Friday to the largest projects on offer. The power lines they will build will draw combined investments of 7.17 billion reais ($2.16 billion), according to estimates by Brazil’s electricity regulator Aneel.
Some 47 companies registered to present bids at the ongoing auction at Sao Paulo’s stock exchange B3. On Friday, Brazil’s government is awarding licenses for 11 power transmission projects with total investments projected at about 9 billion reais.
This is the first of four power sector auctions scheduled by the government to take place over coming days, as Brazil speeds up plans to attract local and foreign investments and try to boost a nascent economic recovery.
India’s Sterlite won the license for the largest project on offer on Friday, a roughly 1,000-km (621-mile) line running through the northern states of Pará and Tocantins.
The licenses include a 30-year contract to operate the lines, with pre-defined annual revenues coming from the tariffs to be charged for the service.
$1 = 3.3210 reais Reporting by José Roberto Gomes; Writing by Ana Mano and Marcelo Teixeira; Editing by Bernadette Baum and Susan Thomas