Brazil utility sees building 10,682-MW Tapajos complex with partners

An official of national utility Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras S/A (Eletrobras) says studies will be complete by the end of 2009 of the construction of five hydroelectric projects in Brazil’s Tapajos River Basin totaling nearly 11,000 MW.

State-owned Agencia Brasil reported Sinval Zaidan Gama, Eletrobras superintendent of exterior operations, said Eletrobras plans to construct the projects in partnership with private companies. In December, Eletrobras President Jose Antonio Muniz had said the government planned concession auctions in 2010 to develop the Tapajos complex. (HydroWorld 12/11/08)

The Tapajos complex includes 6,133-MW Sao Luiz do Tapajos and 2,338-MW Jatoba on the Tapajos River, and 528-MW Cachoeira dos Patos, 802-MW Cachoeira do Cai, and 881-MW Jamanxim on the Jamanxim River.

Eletrobras submitted an inventory in September 2008 to Brazilian regulators outlining the five projects in northern Brazil, which are expected to require an investment of 30 billion reais (US$12.26 billion).

The projects are to be the first to utilize a “plant-platform” concept used by oil drilling platforms. Rather than building employee housing on site, workers will be flown in by helicopter from their homes in Itaituba for their work shifts. The goal is to reduce the projects’ effects on the 200,000 square kilometers of surrounding forest, Muniz said.

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