Belo Monte hydro project construction set to begin in Amazon

Brazil’s Norte Energia consortium will kick off construction works at the 11,200-MW Belo Monte hydropower project in Brazil’s Amazon this month, a spokesperson for the group told wire services.

On June 1, Brazil’s environmental regulator, Ibama, issued the final installation license for the project, Business News Americas reported.

In a statement, Ibama said Norte Energia will have to invest 100 million reais (US$63 million) in environmental conservation projects in the area surrounding the hydro project.

The 11,200-MW Belo Monte hydro project, to be built in Para state, has faced several delays to its construction. The project, expected to cost up to US$17 billion, is to be constructed on the Xingu River. 

In March, Norte Energia started earthmoving works at the site where it will build the Belo Monte project.

The project is expected to come online in 2015.

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Belo Monte hydro project cost to jump due to added environmental measures

Officials say the cost of constructing the Belo Monte hydro project in Brazil’s Amazon has jumped US$2 billion because of new environmental measures, wire services reported.

Brazil’s environmental authority, Ibama, recently issued a preliminary license for the 11,200-MW Belo Monte hydro project, subject to a number of conditions covering environmental concerns and other issues. (HydroWorld 2/4/10)

Several dozen added environmental measures will raise the cost from about US$9 billion to around US$11 billion, wire reports indicate.

The project, on the Xingu River in the state of Para, is Brazil’s second-largest hydro project after the 14 GW Itaipu plant in southern Brazil.

Environmentalists are opposed to the project’s construction, saying it will devastate wildlife and the livelihoods of 40,000 people in the area to be flooded.

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