Merger to create a $1.5 billion utility giant in Colombia

Colombian power company Grupo Energía Bogotá and Chile-based Enel Americas propose to create a new local utility Enel Colombia.

Under the proposed agreement Enel Colombia would be formed from the Colombian power generator Emgesa with the absorption of the Bogotá utility Codensa as well as Enel Green Power Colombia and Essa Chile, an entity with Enel Green Power participation in Panama, Guatemala and Costa Rica.

Both Grupo Energía Bogotá and Chile-based Enel Americas are shareholders in Emgesa and Codensa.

Under the proposal Grupo Energía Bogotá would have 42.5% and Enel Americas 57.3% shareholdings in the new company, with the remainder with small minority shareholders.

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With renewable assets of Co$5.5 trillion (US$1.5 billion) the new company would take on an international stature and become one of the principal energy companies in Colombia and central America, says Grupo Energía Bogotá.

The proposal, which is subject to agreement from the shareholders, is expected to bring to an end the business differences that have existed between the two companies over the past two decades since the then state owned Empresa de Energía de Bogotá was privatised in the award to Endesa (which in turn was acquired by Enel in 2009).

In a statement Grupo Energía Bogotá says the agreement with Enel Americas would ensure its participation in a more robust company with greater growth potential, with corporate governance tools that protect the equity of shareholders and the citizens of Bogota, and that will promote its immediate step into the non-conventional renewable energy business.

Emgesa has an installed capacity of 3.5GW in Colombia, of which the majority is hydroelectric power.

Enel Green Power Colombia was established as Enel’s renewable platform in Colombia and has 69MW of solar PV in operation and a further 1.2GW of solar and wind under development.

ESSA 2 has about 800MW of hydro and solar generation including 360MW of installed capacity and 70MW in development in Panama, 164MW in Guatemala and 81MW in Costa Rica.

On the distribution and commercialisation side Codensa is the country’s second largest, with more than 3.5 million customers in the capital Bogotá and surrounding Cundinamarca department and accounts for almost one quarter of the national demand.

Enel Colombia is expected to become a key player in the energy transformation and the delivery of climate goals as well as in the development of smart energy and smart city initiatives.

Bogotá has long been on a smart city drive, with air quality a particular problem and the country has become a leader in the region in the electrification of public transport. Investments also are being put into smart lighting and distributed generation as part of the ‘Bogotá smart’ initiative.