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Brazil Says Camargo Correa Targets Ghana Power Plans

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Nov. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Camargo Correa SA, Brazil’s third-largest construction company, will consider bidding on hydro-power projects in Ghana, where the government plans to spend $4.5 billion to double power capacity, Brazilian Ambassador Irene Vida Gala said.

The Sao Paulo-based company, the biggest generator of hydroelectric power in Brazil, will be the fifth construction company from Latin America’s largest economy to operate in Ghana, Vida Gala said in an interview yesterday in Accra. Brazilian companies plan to invest more than $600 million in Ghana infrastructure projects, according to embassy data. Camargo Correa didn’t immediately reply to an e-mail and phone call seeking comment yesterday.

“They are already in talks to come and establish a company and offices here. It’s preliminary talks but they will come,” she said. “They are going very much into what they are good in: electric generation of hydroelectric power.”

Ghana will add 2,500 megawatts of power in the next 10 years to halt outages and meet domestic demand estimated to grow 10 percent annually, Ebenezer Tagoe, finance director of the state-owned Volta River Authority, said last month in an interview. Power outages are curbing economic growth in West Africa’s second-largest economy, which the government says will expand 7.2 percent this year. Ghana gets about half of its electricity from thermal energy and uses imported oil to fuel the plants because of a natural-gas shortfall.

Africa Expansion

Brazilian companies from plane maker Embraer SA, to the nation’s largest builder ,Odebrecht SA, are turning to African nations that weren’t former Portuguese colonies to capture spending on infrastructure fueled by the discovery of oil, gas and other commodities. Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta met with representatives from Brazilian companies in July. Only Angola and Mozambique have more Brazilian builders operating domestically than Ghana, Vida Gala said.

Queiroz Galvao SA is expanding an airport in northern Ghana as part of a $100 million project, while Odebrecht is in a joint venture with Andrade Gutierrez SA to work on a $240 million highway connecting Ghana to its eastern neighbors, according to embassy data.

Embassy Expansion

Brazil more than doubled the number of its embassies in Africa to 37 in the past decade as part of a strategy under former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva to strengthen political and commercial ties with the continent, Vida Gala said.

Ghana and Brazil have been discussing a possible $1 billion credit facility for Ghana since 2011, she said, declining to give any more details. Trade with Ghana was $400 million last year, she said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Pauline Bax in Accra at pbax@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nasreen Seria at nseria@bloomberg.net

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