Brazil president lays cornerstone of 3,300-MW Jirau

Brazil President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva laid the cornerstone March 12 in a ceremony to mark beginning of construction of the 3,300-MW Jirau hydroelectric project on the Madeira River in Rondonia State.

Lula led the ceremony during a trip to visit the construction sites of both Jirau (HNN 3/10/09) and its sister project, 3,150-MW Santo Antonio, also on the Madeira. (HNN 2/20/09)

Both projects are being developed under Brazil’s Growth Acceleration Program (PAC), which provides more favorable financing to investors. The two projects require investment of about 21.2 billion reais (US$9.4 billion) plus 7.2 billion reais (US$3.2 billion) for transmission lines.

With an investment of 9 billion reais (US$4 billion), Jirau is expected to generate 12,000 direct jobs and 30,000 indirect jobs during construction, which is to be completed in 2014. With an investment of 12.2 billion reais (US$5.4 billion), Santo Antonio is to generate another 30,000 jobs and go on line in 2012,

To increase the possibility of hiring local workers, professional training courses will be offered to the area people, through partnerships with local training bodies and Brazilian builder Construtora Norberto Odebrecht. During his visit, Lula took part in a signing ceremony to establish the training center in Rondonia.

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