UPDATE 1-GDF Suez aims to be top power producer in Latin America
By Geert De Clercq
PARIS Dec 16 (Reuters) - GDF Suez wants to become the biggest private producer of electric power in Latin America within three years, its chief executive Gerard Mestrallet said on Tuesday.
At the end of 2013, the French gas and power utility had 12.8 gigawatts of gross capacity installed in Latin America, putting it in third place behind Italian utility Enel with 17.6 gigawatts (GW) and U.S. power group AES Corp's 13.8 GW, but ahead of Spanish group Iberdrola's 6 GW.
"Today, we have projects that will make us bigger than Enel. Enel will not stand still, but neither will we," Mestrallet told reporters.
By end 2014, GDF Suez will have 14.2 GW installed - mainly in Brazil, Chile and Peru - and the firm has projects that will boost its capacity to about 20 GW by 2019.
Mestrallet said that over the years, GDF Suez had invested over $20 billion in Latin America, where the firm has been present since 1997, and that its business in the region was "extremely profitable".
Last year, GDF Suez earned core earnings of 1.62 billion euros ($2.02 billion) on turnover of 4.05 billion euros in the region.
"I'd wish we could have the same earnings ratio on the 80 billion euros of turnover for the whole company, but that is unfortunately not the case," he said. Continuación...