Several companies have informed the Brazilian government of their interest in troubled Spanish renewable energy and construction group Abengoa's operations and projects in the South American country, officials said Friday.

Mines and Energy Ministry representatives have received energy sector business leaders interested in acquiring the assets of Abengoa, which has a hefty debt burden and has filed for preliminary protection from creditors in Spain, sources with that portfolio told EFE.

The ministry did not specify the names of the companies interested in projects operated by Abengoa, which last year began laying off workers - according to the Sintepav BA union - and halting work on some transmission lines in Brazil.

On Thursday, the ministry's executive secretary, Luiz Eduardo Barata, received Abengoa representatives to discuss the company's operations in Brazil, a market it first entered in the 1990s.

Seville, Spain-based Abengoa, which is struggling with roughly 8 billion euros ($8.6 billion) in financial debt and owes some 5 billion euros to its suppliers, filed for preliminary creditor protection on Nov. 25.

Failure by Abengoa to reach a deal with its creditors by late March would result in the biggest bankruptcy case in Spanish history. EFE