While AES Corp.--the Virginia (U.S.)-based, Fortune 200 power company--is present in 18 countries across the world, it maintains a strong footprint in Latin America. The firm owns total electricity generation capacity of 14,470 MW in eight countries in the region: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Mexico and Panama. It also operates distribution in some of these nations, serving more than 9.2 million customers.
The importance of AES Corp.'s Latin American business is such that the region accounted for almost 65 percent of total revenues in 2014 ($17 billion). Albeit a tough environment, key subsidiaries in Latin America had a relatively favorable performance last year. Case in point, AES Eletropaulo, the distributor servicing the Brazilian state of Sao Paulo, which experienced 17 percent revenue growth in local currency. Likewise, AES Gener--based in Chile--saw revenue rising four percent in U.S. dollars.
Latin Trade interviewed the firm's president and CEO, Andres Gluski, a seasoned industry executive who has been in the post since 2011, but with the company since 2000. Gluski holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in economics from the University of Virginia. In 2012, he was named Latin Trade's International CEO of the Year. He currently serves as member of President Barack Obama's Export Council.
LATIN AMERICA'S ELECTRICITY INDUSTRY FACED SOME STRONG HEADWINDS IN 2014, AFFECTING MOSTLY POWER GENERATORS, WHILE GROUPS DIVERSIFIED, WERE ABLE TO WEATHER THE STORM MUCH BETTER. WHAT ARE YOUR EXPECTATIONS FOR THE REGION'S INDUSTRY THIS YEAR?
AES has a strong and diversified presence in Latin America, but the drought made us suffer a bit, especially in Brazil. The region's economic slowdown and the depreciation of its currencies affected us as well. For 2015, we foresee a relative continuation of these trends, with the cooling of the regional GDP extending to other counties. 2016 will be much better, positively.
HOW ARE YOU CONFRONTING THIS YEAR'S ADVERSE CONDITIONS?
We always keep a long-term perspective. In this context, we continue our expansion plans in the region, which includes the construction of new power generation plants in Chile and Argentina, for example. We recently started developing another project in Panama and will do the same in Colombia shortly. Our expansion plans have not changed; we are the company with the most ongoing new generation projects in Chile, including solar power. AES is currently developing...