Brazil plans 2010 concessions for 10,682-MW Tapajos projects

The head of national utility Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras S/A (Eletrobras) said December 9 the government plans concession auctions in 2010 for five Tapajos complex hydroelectric projects totaling 10,682 MW.

Eletrobras President Jose Antonio Muniz told Rio business group Associacao Comercial do Rio de Janeiro that auction of the first and largest project, 6,133-MW Sao Luiz do Tapajos on the Tapajos River, is expected by June 2010. Auctions are expected to follow shortly for the other four plants, 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 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). (HNN 10/6/08)

Muniz said the Tapajos complex projects will 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.

The Eletrobras official also confirmed that a concession auction for the 11,182-MW Belo Monte project on the Xingu River will be held in September 2009. Muniz said Eletrobras is completing an environmental study of the giant project on schedule. (HNN 10/6/08)

Despite the international financial crisis, Muniz said the government also plans to proceed with development of at least six hydroelectric projects in Peru for sale of electricity to Brazil. (HNN 11/4/08)

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