March 1, 2016 / 10:11 PM / 3 years ago

UPDATE 1-China's State Grid says looking at Abengoa assets in Brazil

(Adds details of assets, government comments, context)

SAO PAULO, March 1 (Reuters) - Chinese energy group State Grid said on Tuesday it is interested in acquiring power transmission assets in Brazil held by the troubled Spanish conglomerate Abengoa SA.

In an emailed statement to Reuters, State Grid said that it has not yet presented any formal proposal to Abengoa.

Reuters questioned State Grid after comments earlier in the day by Brazil’s Energy Minister Eduardo Braga. He said the government was talking to two foreign groups regarding Abengoa transmission lines.

Brazil is keen on finding a new owner for the assets, mainly the ones that have yet to be finalized.

“We are evaluating the proposals, looking if they are feasible considering the deadlines for conclusion of the new lines,” said Braga.

State Grid declined to say if it was one of the companies talking to the Brazilian government.

Abengoa, which opened pre-insolvency proceedings late last year in Spain, holds concessions to build and operate 6,300 kilometers (3,915 miles) of transmission lines in Brazil.

Some of the new lines are vital to connect dozens of wind farms to the grid.

The Spanish company was also heading up the construction of a line to transport power from the world’s third-largest hydroelectric power dam, Belo Monte, in the Amazon state of Para to Brazil’s power-hungry Northeast region.

China’s State Grid has been aggressive on acquisitions in Brazil. Last year the company bought the concession to build the largest power transmission line in Brazil, stretching 2,500 kilometers from Belo Monte dam to Rio de Janeiro.

The line is expected to need 7 billion reais ($1.78 billion) to be built. ($1 = 3.929 reais)

Reporting by Luciano Costa and Marcelo Teixeira; Editing by Alan Crosby

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