Belo Monte hydro plant construction formally approved

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has signed the concession contract for the construction of the 11,200-MW Belo Monte hydropower plant in Brazil’s Amazon, according to news services.

The document kicks off the construction process for the hydro project, which will be built on the Xingu River in the Amazonian state of Para. The hydropower project has faced several delays from opponents to its construction.

Belo Monte will be the world’s third-largest hydropower plant and second largest in Brazil, behind the 14-GW Itaipu Brazilian-Paraguayan plant.

The Belo Monte hydropower project is expected to begin producing electricity in 2015. Estimates suggest the plant will cost around 20 billion reais (US$11.2 billion).

Recently, it was announced that the consortium that will build and operate the Belo Monte hydropower plant will have a total of 18 partners.

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