Brazil approves construction of 3,150-MW Santo Antonio

Brazil’s electricity regulator has granted basic project approval to Consorcio Madeira Energia to construct the 3,150-MW Santo Antonio hydroelectric project on Brazil’s Madeira River.

Agencia Nacional de Energia Eletrica (ANEEL) said August 22 it granted the basic project approval, allowing the consortium to begin construction of the 9.5 billion reais (US$5.9 billion) project in the Amazon Region.

Construction is to require 43 months. The first two of Santo Antonio’s 44 turbine-generators are to begin operation in December 2012 on its 271-square-kilometer reservoir.

ANEEL analyzed the technical viability of the project. On August 11, Brazil’s environmental agency, Brasileiro do Meio Ambiente e dos Recursos Naturais Renovaveis (Ibama), issued an environmental license. The national water agency, Agencia Nacional de Aguas, also gave its approval. (HNN 8/13/08)

Consorcio Madeira Energia won a concession auction in December to develop Santo Antonio. Consortium members include:
o Furnas Centrais Eletricas S/A (39 percent);
o Odebrecht Investimentos em Infra-estrutura Ltda. (17.6 percent);
o Construtora Norberto Odebrecht S.A. (1 percent);
o Andrade Gutierrez Participacoes S/A (12.4 percent);
o Cemig Geracao e Transmissao S/A (10 percent); and
o Fundo de Investimentos e Participacoes Amazonia Energia, formed by banks Banif and Santander, (20 percent).

Consorcio Madeira Energia, acting as Consorcio Jirau Energia, had contested Consorcio Energia Sustentavel do Brasil’s winning of a May concession auction for the 3,300-MW Jirau project, Santo Antonio’s sister project on the Madeira. Mines and Energy Minister Edison Lobao said August 19 that the competing groups agreed to wait for a decision by government agencies, rather than file lawsuits that could delay one or both projects. (HNN 8/21/08)

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