Brazil issues operation license to 243.2-MW Sao Salvador

Brazil’s environmental regulator has issued an operational license allowing start-up of the 243.2-MW Sao Salvador hydroelectric project, on the Tocantins River in Brazil’s Tocantins State.

President Roberto Messias Franco of environmental regulator Brasileiro do Meio Ambiente e dos Recursos Naturais Renovaveis (Ibama), issued the operating license November 14 to Companhia Energetica Sao Salvador, a subsidiary of Tractebel Energia.

Ibama said the license also covers operation of a 230-kilovolt transmission line, extending 75.3 kilometers to link substations at Sao Salvador in Tocantins and Cana Brava in Goais State. The operating license is valid for four years.

Sao Salvador was the first hydroelectric project to be financed under Brazil’s new Growth Acceleration Program (PAC), receiving 570.2 million reais (US$277 million) in financing from Brazil’s development bank, Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Economico e Social (BNDES). (HNN 3/23/07)

Sao Salvador already is under construction, with completion expected by 2010. In October 2007, protesters toppled several transmission towers and damaged the hydro project construction site. (HNN 10/22/07)

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