RIO DE JANEIRO Ė The group resulting from the merger of Brazilian companies Neoenergia and Elektro, units of Spanish multinational electric utility Iberdrola, has replaced Companhia Energetica de Minas Gerais (Cemig) as the largest power distributor in Brazil and Latin America by number of customers.
The new group, known as Neoenergia, has 13.4 million customers, while Cemig Ė controlled by the southeastern state of Minas Gerais Ė has 12 million: 8 million in its home state and 4 million more in Rio de Janeiro through its Light unit.
Besides taking over the top spot in terms of customer units, the new group is the countryís second-biggest in terms of electricity distributed and has the capacity to service areas that are home to 43 million inhabitants.
But Cemig, which has a 12 percent share of the power distribution market and is the second-leading power transmission company and third-biggest power generator, has maintained its position as Brazilís largest integrated electric utility.
The assets of the new Neoenergia include hydroelectric power stations, wind farms and thermoelectric power plants with a combined installed capacity of nearly 2,610 megawatts (not including an additional 1,460 megawatts under development), while Cemig operates 70 hydroelectric, thermoelectric and wind plants with an installed capacity of 7,032 megawatts.
In terms of power generation, however, both are far behind Brazilian state-owned Eletrobras, which is the largest in Latin America in that sector with installed capacity of 45,390 megawatts (32 percent of Brazilís total) spread among 231 hydroelectric, thermoelectric, nuclear, wind and solar plants.
The new Neoenergia was created through a merger approved on Wednesday and announced Thursday.
In the deal, Neoenergia, an electricity distributor 39 percent owned by Iberdrola, incorporated the businesses of Elektro, a power distributor that is 100 percent owned by the Spanish utility and which serves Sao Paulo state, Brazilís most populous.