Duke to explore Latin America’s Hydropower Sector

Duke Energy Corp. (NYSE:DUK) just announced it is all set to acquire CGE Group owned electricity generation units based in Chili for a sum of $415 million. The move is another step towards seizing the growth potential within the Latin American Market.

The arrangement for buying the target planet namely Iberoamericana de Energia Ibener S.A., includes two runs of the river hydroelectric power generation plants having an installed capacity of 140 megawatts in totality.

The US based electricity production company Duke Energy Corp. (NYSE:DUK)’s unit went operational in Chile in July this year, through another acquired plant. The Yungay plant is a diesel-generating unit with a plant capacity of 240 megawatts.

Other notable electricity generation and distribution agencies working in Chile, include US based AES, Iberdrola, Suez from France and Spanish ENDESA. Iberedrola owns 95% of three  electricity generation plants while Suez also has three electricity generation subsidiaries. AES owns one only .Endesa owns one wholly owned plant and holds 60% sakes in another.

Duke Energy Corp. (NYSE:DUK)’s CEO Jim Rogers is a strong advocate of diversifying the business risk for electricity producers. At the North Carolina’s Smart Grid Forum for the year 2012 held in May, he said the industry needed to “tout energy efficiency gains in the face of negativity to the new technology” Pointing out to the increasing tendency among producers to rely heavily on gas fired plants, he added “what strengthens the electric grid of the U.S. is our mix of generation.”

The company has predominant investments in Brazil and Peru from the Latin American region. According to the company, after the current acquisition Chile will become Duke Energy Corp. (NYSE:DUK)s’ fourth largest international market in terms of electricity generation capacity.

Andrea Bertone, President Duke Energy Corp. (NYSE:DUK) is determined to continue on the hunt for additional growth projects. Considering the Latin America’s “strong growth potential and a stable regulatory system” the company will  “continue to evaluate additional growth projects in Latin American countries, like Chile” he said.

The company’s earnings for the third-quarter swelled by 26% after the $26 billion acquisition of Progress Energy and revenues grew by 70%. EPS surpassed estimates by $0.02 to $1.45 despite $6.72 billion in revenues, against anticipated $7.17 billion only.

Credit Suez and Dutsche bank had upgraded their ratings to “buy” and “outperform”Morgan Stanley rated it an “overweight” with price target of $72.

The shares of Duke Energy Corp. (NYSE:DUK) were down 0.79% to close at $64.07.

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Published by Benjamin Roussey

Benjamin Roussey is from Sacramento, California. He has two master’s degrees and served four years in the U.S. Navy. His bachelor’s degree is from CSUS (1999) where he was on a baseball pitching scholarship. His second master’s degree is an MBA in Global Management from the University of Phoenix (2006). He has worked for small businesses, public agencies, and large corporations. He has lived in Korea and Saudi Arabia where he was an ESL instructor. Benjamin spends his time in between Northern California and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, committing himself to his craft of freelance and website writing. http://www.facebook.com/ben.rouss