Cape Verde government proposes restructuring of Electra by opening up partnerships with private sector

27 November 2009

Praia, Cape Verde, 27 Nov – The government of Cape Verde Thursday proposed to open up state electricity and water company Electra to partnerships with the private sector, a decision that shareholders are due to make at the General Meeting scheduled for December.

The proposal was approved by the Council of Ministers and is part of the plan to reorganise and restructure Cape Verdean State shareholdings in the water and energy sector, “ a sector which needs urgent intervention,” said government spokeswoman, Janira Hopffer Almada.

The measure, she said, took into account the fact that the current operational and financial situation of Electra, in which the government over the last three years has invested 90.6 million euros, “needs urgent intervention.”

Also according to the Minister for the Presidency of the Council of Ministers and Parliamentary Affairs, the government plans to restructure the company, based on splitting Electra, into limited companies by islands or groups of islands and to set up a holding company (SGPS), which will manage the State’s shareholdings in the new companies.

If the decision is approved at Electra’s General Meeting, set for 17 December, private Cape Verdean and foreign partners will be able to take a stake in the company, she noted.

The proposed restructuring is based on focusing the company on the areas of transmission, distribution and sale of electricity, as well as focusing on activities linked to the water, electricity, and waste water treatment sectors.

It is also based on reaffirming the company’s status as the concessionaire of the electricity and water transmission and distribution networks and “ensuring the companies’ economic and financial sustainability,” Hopffer Almada said.

Last September, the chairman of Electra, Antão Fortes, told Portuguese news agency Lusa that the company owed large amounts to its suppliers, specifically oil companies, which provide fuel, parts and other services. (macauhub)