MELBOURNE Glencore Plc and Australia's Origin Energy have put their hydropower business Energia Austral in Chile on the block, with Standard Chartered advising on the sale, two people familiar with the process said on Thursday.
Glencore was among the companies worst affected by a commodity price rout and its share price has been among the biggest gainers from a rebound this year, which has removed some of the pressure to sell assets and pay down debt.
It declined to comment on any decision to divest its hydropower stake. Origin Energy had no immediate comment.
Energia Austral includes three hydropower projects with a capacity of 1,000 megawatts (MW), the biggest being the Cuervo asset at 550 MW, which will be the third-largest hydropower source in Chile, according to a flyer seen by Reuters.
Sources declined to put a price tag on Energia Austral, which has spent $220 million so far on the hydropower projects, and said there was no deadline yet for bids.
Larger dam projects have fallen out of favor in Chile, stymied by local opposition and environmental red-tape.
The massive HidroAysen project was effectively blocked by the government in 2014, and at the end of August Endesa Chile, the country's largest power generator, gave up water rights to a series of hydro projects, saying the projects were "not viable".
Solar and wind power dominated the winners of an energy auction announced in August, as Chile seeks to fill its growing power needs with more environmental options.
Energia Austral is 66 percent-owned by Glencore and 34 percent-owned by Origin Energy, which is also seeking to pay down debt.
While Glencore is on track to raise up to $5 billion through asset sales this year, Origin is aiming for A$800 million ($617 million) by June 2017.
(Additional reporting by Rosalba O'Brien in Santiago and Barbara Lewis in London; Editing by Himani Sarkar and Mark Potter)