Companhia Energetica de Minas Gerais (CIG), known as CEMIG, is one of the largest integrated electric utilities in Brazil with more than 6,000 megawatts of installed generation capacity. Currently, the company is the fifth largest electricity generator in Brazil. Approximately 87% of the company's installed generation capacity is hydroelectric power. The company currently meets approximately two-thirds of its power needs from internal generation assets, and purchases the rest from third parties. CEMIG's customer base of more than 10 million residential, industrial, commercial, and rural customers is located primarily in the southeastern Brazilian state of Minas Gerais. In addition to its integrated electricity business, CEMIG is also engaged in natural gas distribution and telecommunications. The state government of Minas Gerais is the company's largest shareholder with a 51% stake of the voting shares. Currently CEMIG has over 10 million consumers (82% residential, 1% industries, 9% commercial units, 6.6% rural properties and 1.4% others).
Demand for electricity in Brazil has been growing rapidly, due to the local economic recovery. Economic figures in 2005 were disappointing, with Brazilian gross domestic product (GDP) growth around 2.5%. Even so, CEMIG's electric power sales increased 4.5% totaling 39,614 GWh. In 2006, Brazilian economic figures were not that encouraging either, with a GDP growth of just 2.9%. However, total energy sold increased by 31.9% year-over-year thanks to the incorporation of Light into CEMIG's network. For 2007 Brazilian economic growth is expected to reach 5% and for 2008, at least 4.5%. During the first nine months of 2007, CEMIG's electricity sales increased by 12.1%. We expect the strong growth for electricity demand to continue.(Read more at Wikinvest )