The state agency Pro-Inversion has once again delayed for a month a deadline for bids for four of the country’s transmission companies. This second delay, announced in May and extending the deadline to 28 June, follows a previous announcement in March that bidders for the four companies would be given an additional month.

The companies involved in the privatisation process are Electro Norte, Electro Norte Medio, Electro Centro and Electro Noroeste. Stakes in The last two are being offered as a single package. The base price for the sale was to be announced on 30 May and the auction documents were to be published on the Internet.

It is understood that Tractebel SA, Union Fenosa Internacional SA and China Electric Power Technology Import and Export Corp have already prequalified for the sale. PSEG Americas is still going through the process of prequalifying.

The sale of a stake in the four regional companies follows an abortive attempt by Jorbsa, which was awarded a 30 per cent stake in the companies in 1998, to secure funding to boost its stake. The company subsequently returned its stake to the government. Over the three years of private sector management, sales rose from 1527GWh to 1763GWh and the number of customers rose from 839 000 to one million.

The new delay is ostensibly to allow the advisers, BNP Paribas-Microinvest more time to fix the base price for the sale. There have also been three delays in the sale of the southern Peruvian electricity generating companies Egasa and Egesur after bidders requested extra time to prepare documents.

Meanwhile a poll for a Peruvian newspaper claimed that 72 per cent of respondents disapproved of Peru’s privatisation process. Residents fear the cost of power will rise and workers fear redundancy.