Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Santo Antônio Energy asks to not pay rate

BRASILIA-with serious financial difficulties, the concessionaire Santo Antônio Energy presented to justice a request to get rid of payments due to the power transmission system, an unprecedented request in the electricity sector, used for years to a war of injunctions. The company justifies that is on the verge of bankruptcy. The action was denied by the Federal Court of the Federal District, but the company appealed to the Federal Court of the first region (TRF-1) to get rid of payments this month, which amounted to R $169 million. If the decision is approved, the company, owner of the plant, will not suffer penalties for being defaulted. The rate for use of the transmission system resembles a toll: the generator pays monthly for access to the transmission network and thus can deliver power at any point in the system. By not paying the fees, the generators receive penalties, which may be fines, implementation of financial guarantees and market power. In the limit, the plant can be punished with the termination of the contracts of purchase and sale of energy. This is the most serious consequence, because these contracts are used as collateral and that can lead to accelerated maturity of funding. The action has raised fears in the industry, faced with the possibility of opening of a dangerous precedent that can further enhance the industry-judicialization. That's because the power transmission system works as a kind of gated community, in which all agents rateiam expenses. If one fails to pay, the others have to pay more to cover the costs of the system. A cascade movement, other agents can adopt the same strategy, reducing the share of paying agents. Defense in action, the Santo Antônio Energy claims financial difficulties to continue paying your bills and claims to have negotiated other debt installments payments "to avoid your break", but the default situation hinders the renegotiation. The company says has not yet "financial availability" to make payment of the amount of financial guarantees required in the market. The damage accumulated, since the beginning of the operation in 2007 until December 2017, according to the company, is R $3.7 billion, and shareholders have already landed R $9.3 billion, more than double the R $4.2 billion initially forecast. "The main shareholders would face difficulties arising from the fiscal crisis of the State (39% owned by Furnas, federal State; 10% to Cemig, State State; and 20% to the FIP Amazon, of which 49.9% belong to the FI-FGTS). The minority shareholders (Andrade Gutierrez and Odebrecht 12.4% 18.6%) are also in financial difficulty well-known and reported by national media, "says the action. The President of the Brazilian Association of electric power transmission companies, Mario Miranda, said the lack of payments of Santo Antônio energy will encumber other agents and even consumers. "Imagine if begin to tolerate or allow the breach of a particular agent? This overloads other companies, "said Miranda. "Everyone is going through financial difficulties, is not only the Santo Antônio energy." The Director-General of the National Electric Energy Agency, André Goes, acknowledged that the plant goes through difficulties and that the project is structurally unbalanced, but said any discussion must necessarily pass by the regulator, and not for justice. The Santo Antonio Energia was contacted, but did not comment.
O Estado de S. Paulo - 26/09/2018 News Item translated automatically
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