The developer of the 243.2-MW Sao Salvador hydroelectric project reported October 18 that protesters toppled several transmission towers and damaged the hydro project construction site on the Tocantins River in Brazil’s Tocantins State.
In a statement reported by Business News Americas, project owner CESS, a subsidiary of Tractebel Energia, said cities near the plant were blacked out by the transmission damage.
CESS said it would stop negotiations with groups opposing the project until the damage is stopped. In September, 400 protesters blocked the road to the construction site.
�Negotiations will only restart when protesters stop acting against other parties’ rights,� CESS said, adding the damages totaled 1.5 million reais (US$831,000) and delayed work four days.
CESS said it is in compliance with environmental regulations for Sao Salvador, the first hydroelectric project to be financed under Brazil’s new Growth Acceleration Program. Brazil’s development bank, Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Economico e Social, completed 570.2 million reais (US$277 million) in financing for the project in March. (HNN 3/23/07)