Jayne Brandy, 202/586-5806
July 29, 1999

Energy Secretary Richardson Announces Joint Cross Border Transmission Project

Energy Department Teams with World Bank on Regional Electricity Venture

New Orleans -- Secretary of Energy Bill Richardson today announced the beginning of a joint cross-border electricity transmission project cosponsored by the World Bank and a South American Group, the Commission for Integration of Electricity (CIER). The project will promote regional integration in electricity systems and power markets in ten South American countries.

"This project highlights three of the issues we are discussing here at the Hemispheric Energy Ministers Conference in New Orleans," said Secretary Richardson. "It will reduce the cost and expand the reach of electricity supply and mitigate the environmental impacts of production and transmission in these South American countries and provide investment opportunities for the private sector."

The majority of the funding for the project, $430,000, will be provided by the World Bank's Energy Sector Management Assistance Program. The Department of Energy contributed $50,000 and the United States and South American private sectors are also participating in the project. CIER which represents major electricity producers in ten countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Columbia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela, will provide mostly in-kind funding of $225,000.

The project, slated to begin in September, addresses technical, operational and policy issues and will make recommendations on how to further expand cross-border transmission interconnections and expand cooperative electricity development among the South American Countries. The Energy Department is taking an active role in the development and implementation of the project and will act as facilitator during the project.

End US DOE, Office of Public Affairs, R-99-197