JBIC to approve US$85mn loan for irrigation works in Peru

Peruvian government authorities expect the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) to approve by year-end a US$85mn credit for an irrigation infrastructure program to be implemented by the agriculture ministry. The program contemplates the construction of 75 medium sized irrigation projects in departments Ayacucho, Cajamarca, Ancash, Pasco, Junin, Huancavelica, Huanuco, La Libertad, Amazonas and Piura, in the countrys Sierra area. Authorities are currently drawing up the programs pre-investment project. JBIC, said the bank is willing to help with complementary studies so the loans approval can be announced by November.

Publication: Euclid Infotech - Construction News
Provider: Euclid Infotech
Date: January 31, 2008


Grupo Elektra Starts Banking Operations in Peru

Grupo Elektra, S.A. de C.V. (BMV: ELEKTRA*; Latibex: XEKT), Latin America's leading specialty retailer, consumer finance and banking services company, announced the start of banking operations in Peru, with the simultaneous opening of 120 branches in 33 cities.

In a meeting attended by the President of Peru, Alan Garcia, and the Chairman of the Board of Grupo Salinas, Ricardo B. Salinas, it was announced that Grupo Elektra will complement its successful operations with those of Banco Azteca del Peru, expanding its commercial offer with financial products and services that will benefit the mass market through credit, savings and transfers.

"The operations announced today enhance savings within the mass market and complement the offer of financial services -- as insurance products, transfers and payments -- to people who need it, improving the living standards of hundreds of thousands of families in Peru," said Mr. Salinas. "Simultaneously, we take an important step to further expand our proven business strategy and strengthen the dynamic growth perspectives in Latin America."

Grupo Elektra has a path of successful operations and solid growth in Peru since 1998. Banco Azteca del Peru is a wholly owned subsidiary of Grupo Elektra and will additionally strengthen its robust growth strategy, as has been the case with the commercial operations of the company, together with its banking operations, in Mexico, Panama, Guatemala and Honduras, in which the company has more than 1,600 points of sale.

Banco Azteca del Peru starts its banking operations with 12-hour service, seven days a week, and will offer its renowned savings products "Guardadito" and "Inversion Azteca," as well as its successful consumer and personal loans.

Company Profile:

Grupo Elektra (http://www.grupoelektra.com.mx/) is Latin America's leading specialty retailer, consumer finance and banking services company. The Group operates more than 1,700 points of sale in Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Peru, Panama, El Salvador and Argentina. Grupo Elektra also sells and markets its consumer finance, banking and financial products and services through Banco Azteca branches located in Mexico, Panama, Guatemala, Honduras and Peru. Grupo Elektra is a member company of Grupo Salinas (http://www.gruposalinas.com/), a group of dynamic, fast-growing and technologically advanced companies focused on creating shareholder value, contributing to build the middle class of the countries where it operates, and improving society through excellence.

Publication: PR Newswire
Provider: PR Newswire
Date: January 29, 2008


ProInversión qualifies 2 groups for gas pipeline study

Peru's state agency for promoting private investment ProInversión has qualified two groups to carry out a prefeasibility study for the Macroregional del Sur gas pipeline project.

The qualifiers are Consorcio Navigant and Consorcio R García Consultores, ProInversión said in a statement. Four groups had submitted bids.

The agency will open price offers on January 31.

The winner will study the technical and economic viability of a pipeline network in the departments of Arequipa, Cusco, Moquegua, Puna and Tacna.

Specifically, the 240-day contract entails carrying out market, social and environmental studies as well as basic engineering.

The winner will also help ProInversión draft tender details for the subsequent pipeline works contracts.

Publication: Business News Americas - English News
Provider: Business News Americas
Date: January 25, 2008


Peru: Petroperu to award Norperuano pipeline study this month

Peru state oil company Petroperu by month-end will award the contract to carry out the feasibility study for a project to extend the Norperuano oil pipeline. The project would transport heavy crude produced in block 67 near the border with Ecuador to the coast in 2010. Block 67 will have potential to produce up to 100,000b/d. The US$1.5bn plan for the block estimates first oil in January 2011. The aim is to award the pipeline works contract in June. Pipeline capacity is roughly 250,000b/d. The pipeline currently stretches 852km and transports crude from the areas of San José de Saramuro and Andoas in Loreto department to Bayovar port.

Publication: Euclid Infotech - Utilities News
Provider: Euclid Infotech
Date: January 25, 2008


Cálidda to invest US$35mn-37mn this year

Gas distributor Cálidda, which serves Lima and neighboring port city Callao, this year plans to invest US$35mn-37mn to expand the distribution network, according to Peru's energy and mines minister Juan Valdivia.

The expansion would benefit residential and industrial users as well as power generators and VNG stations. Cálidda plans to connect at least 12,000 homes a year starting this year.

"We want to advance with residential connections but there still are some problems because Lima has a temperate climate and it is not attractive for natural gas use," state news agency Andina quoted Valdivia as saying.

"The connections are very expensive and the benefit would be minimal because the majority of Lima residents will use the gas only for stoves."

The minister said a proposal from Cálidda is under evaluation to replace costly copper piping with a mixture of aluminum and plastic.

"We expect to reach an agreement this week to authorize the use of this material which is used in Colombia, the US and almost all countries that use natural gas within homes."

Energy and mining investment watchdog Osinergmin has already approved the change, he said.

Publication: Business News Americas - English News
Provider: Business News Americas
Date: January 22, 2008


Apesoft: Software industry set to bill US$150mn in 2008

The Peruvian software industry is set to record sales of US$150mn this year compared to the US$130mn in 2007, local newspaper Gestión quoted Juvenal Luna, president of the country's software promotion agency Apesoft as saying.

However, the executive believes the sector could grow even higher if the private and public sectors increase their IT investments as a way to become more dynamic and face the competition brought by the free trade agreement (FTA) with the US.

The software industry will be one to benefit most from the FTA, as many companies, particularly in the public sector, look to optimize several of their business process, the paper reported.

Luna said there is an increasing interest from the public sector to improve their information systems through e-government. However, there is still concern in the industry, as the government has yet to decide if it will make these improvements with in-house developments or hire a third party specialized in the matter.

As a way to promote the work of local IT firms and have the public sector contract their services for IT update projects, Apesoft has held several meetings with the nation's intellectual property and fair trading agency Indecopi.

According to Luna, investments from the public sector in software solutions are set to increase 15% this year compared to 2007.

Publication: Business News Americas - English News
Provider: Business News Americas
Date: January 21, 2008


Peru: Amsa looking at agro-exports options

Grupo Amsa, the leader of the Peruvian textile industry's acrylic thread segment and also an important player in PET packaging, is studying various projects of diversification. Pramod Mittal, general director of the group, says that most probably Amsa will step into the agro-exports arena in a couple of months time.

Regarding the performance of Filamentos Industriales, Mittal states that the industry was hit hard by the last customs-duty reduction from 12% to 9% on Asian synthetic threads and that Filamentos Industriales is crossing its fingers that another dip is not on the way despite having remained stable as a company thanks to costs- and margins-reductions.

Publication: SABI - Business News
Provider: South American Business Information
Date: January 18, 2008


Acetesa still shopping

In 2008, Aceros y Techos (Acetesa) of Peru plans to continue its aggressive non-organic expansion plan that has been on the go for two years now. Acetesa's general director Luis Dyer says that negotiations to buy a metal-mechanics firm – of a similar size to Acetesa - are drawing to a happy conclusion and fast.

To complete its services platform (it produces nails, calamines and other metallic structures but also installs and builds), Acetesa now wants an engineering group beneath its umbrella and is running the rule over the top five locally.

Publication: SABI - Business News
Provider: South American Business Information
Date: January 17, 2008


Fortuna submits 32.5MW hydro concession request

Panamanian generator Fortuna has submitted a request to the country's public services regulator Asep for a 32.5MW hydro concession, Asep said in a statement.
The project - dubbed La Soledad - would use water from the Santa María river in Veraguas province.

Asep will now publish the request in local papers and open a 10-day period during which other developers can submit requests for the project. If more than one vies for a project, there will be a procedure to see which the best offer is.

Fortuna already operates a 300MW plant on the Chiriquí river in the province of the same name, making the company the largest power generator in the country.

Italian power company Enel controls 49% of Fortuna through Americas Generation. Panama's government and employees own 49.9% and 1.1% respectively.

Publication: Business News Americas - English News
Provider: Business News Americas
Date: January 11, 2008


Electroperú aims to trade on Lima stock exchange

Peruvian state-owned generator Electroperú will in the first half of this year begin the necessary paperwork to trade on the Lima stock exchange (BVL), company president César Butrón said.

The generator must first secure authorization from the country's state business financing fund Fonafe and consolidated reserves fund FCR, state news agency Andina quoted Butrón as saying.

Electroperú will initially trade 10% of shares on the market, he said.

Access to the capitals market will allow the company to obtain part of the resources needed to continue its generation capacity expansion program, modernize equipment and carry out maintenance, the executive added.

Projects include a 500MW thermo plant in Chilca, south of Lima, and the 220MW La Guitarra hydro project in Huancavelica department.

Other financing sources the generator is evaluating include bond issues and loans, Butrón said.

Electroperú already operates the 1.01GW Mantaro hydro complex and an 18.7MW thermo plant in Tumbes.

Publication: Business News Americas - English News
Provider: Business News Americas
Date: January 8, 2008


Pluspetrol ups Camisea reserves to 379Bm3

Argentine company Pluspetrol has raised proven reserves at blocks 88 and 56 of Peru's Camisea gas project to 13.4Tf3 (379Bm3) from 10.9Tf3, the latter country's energy and mines ministry said in a statement.

Pluspetrol is part of Consorcio Camisea and owns the project's gas extraction component. Peruvian firms TGP and Cálidda hold the respective transport and distribution components.

The Argentine company justified the new figure due to 3D seismic reprocessing and interpretation work and the analysis of new information obtained from five development wells in the San Martín deposit, the statement said.

Block 88's proven reserves stand at 10.4Tf3 and block 56's at 3Tf3.

Of the 13.4Tf3, 6.1Tf3 will go to supply local demand through 2028, specifically power plants (3.25Tf3), petrochemicals (1.46Tf3), industry (1.1Tf3), vehicles (0.2Tf3) and homes (0.1Tf3).

Another 4.2Tf3 will go to Peru LNG consortium's US$3.9bn LNG export project.

The local demand figure is based on a scenario of a power generation mix made up of natural gas and hydroelectric plants and average power demand growth of 6.5% a year in the long term, the statement said.

Natural gas output in the first 11 months of last year totaled 85.3Bf3, up 49.8% from January-November 2006, state hydrocarbons promotion agency Perupetro said previously.

Peru's power sector used 1.718Bm3 of natural gas from January-November 2007 to produce 6.61TWh, the ministry said in its latest power sector statistics report.

Electricity generated from gas-fired plants represented 27% of all power produced in the 11-month period.

These plants accounted for 71% of the country's total gas consumption in the 11-month period, specifically Ventanilla (21%), Chilca 1 (19%), Aguaytia (15%), Malacas (8%), Santa Rosa (5%) and Kallpa (3%).

The remainder of the country's available gas in the first 11 months of last year was used by industry and the transport and residential sectors.

Gas-fired generation in November rose 69% compared to the year-ago month, while hydro, diesel and coal dipped 6%, 32.5% and 3.6% respectively. In November, 63.9% of power came from hydro followed by natural gas (31.8%), coal (3%) and diesel (1.3%).

Natural gas consumption for generation in November rose 59.9% to 189Mm3 compared to the same month last year.

In related news, Pluspetrol reported it will take its Malvinas gas-liquids separation plant offline January 7-12 to carry out interconnection work as part of an ongoing Camisea expansion to double liquids production in the second half of this year.

The plant interruption will not affect gas supplies to vehicles and homes, according to the company.

Publication: Business News Americas - English News
Provider: Business News Americas
Date: January 4, 2008