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ENAP said to eye sale of stake in geothermal operator Geotérmica del Norte in Chile

Cerro Pabellon geothermal power plant, Chile (source: ThinkGeoEnergy)
Alexander Richter 5 Aug 2019

Chilean state-owned petroleum company ENAP is eyeing the sale of a 16% stake in Geotérmica del Norte S.A., a joint venture with Italian energy company Enel, which holds 51% in the company and ENAP, holding 48.6%.

Current board and general management of the state, seeks to part with its participation that currently maintains, GNL Quinteros 20%, Geotérmica del Norte 16.35% and 10.6% in the Sonacol pipeline and do not rule out getting rid of the wind farm currently under construction in Magellan.

This is reported by Chilean publication Radio Polar, with concerns by the unions and a critical view on those plans.

Empreasa Nacional del Petróleo (ENAP) is a public company owned by the State of Chile. ENAP’s main line of business is the exploration, production, refining and marketing of hydrocarbons and their by-products. The company maintains stakes in various subsidiaries and affiliated companies including Geotérmica del Norte.

Geotérmica del Norte S.A. is the operator of the Cerro Pabellon geothermal power plant and majority owned by Italian energy company ENEL (51%), ENAP (48.6%) and Codelco (0.4%). The General Manager is Guida Cappetti appointed by ENEL.

For the workers’ union of Enap Magallanes, this act is worrisome, as indicated by its president, Alejandro Avendano Gallardo, they are using the same formula, at least in the previous administration in 2010, the sale of the assets of suppliers Primax Peru and Ecuador. It was discussed with the workers, in the detachment of these assets that the current administration will carry out, the corporate government chaired by Loreto Silva and General Manager Andres Roccatagliata, we only learned from the press.

It seems the argument for the planned asset sale is the financial debt incurred by the company.

“Trying to justify these asset sales with financial debt, a debt that grew most precisely between the years that our company was managed in the first government of President Pinera and that in 2012 the financial debt exceeded four billion dollars is not understood , since the three assets that the current Enap administration intends to detach in 2018 had positive results, in the case of LNG Quinteros achieved profits of US $ 48.4 million, Sonacol US $ 36.7 million and Geotérmica del Norte $ 177,000.

Here clearly the objective is another, not the current debt since it is demonstrated that they are assets that obtained profits and not lost, what we want to do here is to try to reduce the state with clear other objectives to which we will keep the workers attentive, I conclude by pointing out the top leader of the tankers.”

It is unclear so far if this is indeed happening and if so if ENEL might have preemptive acquisition rights.

Source: Radio Polar