Uruguay’s state power company UTE has received nine project proposals totalling 96 MW in response to the first round of its tender for new biomass power plants, a spokesman for the company said.

BioEnergía has submitted two bids for 20 MW projects in the department of Tacuarembo. Proposals for five separate 1 0MW projects were also submitted by Atlanwind, Mercovientos, Eolener, Newelec and Milsoun. In addition Tingelsur and Amira companies have proposed projects of 2.5 MW and 3.5 MW respectively in the departments of Rivera and Cerro Largo.

UTE plans to accept bids in two more stages, in October and December, and expects to award contracts of up to 20 years for biomass projects totaling 200 MW. The tender includes biomass generation plants of up to 20 MW which are currently in operation or under development.

UTE recently announced its intention to increase the electricity prices on offer to winning bidders, in an attempt to incentivise the projects. Under the new terms,UTE will pay an improved price of US$110/MWh to contract winners if their capacity comes online before 2014. A price of US$92/MWh had been offered under the original terms of the tender.