Brazil state opens 22.2-MW Esmeralda; 67-MW Monjolinho starts work

In a commissioning ceremony for the 22.2-MW Esmeralda hydroelectric project, a Rio Grande do Sul (RS) State official announced that sites for another 63 small projects have been identified in the Brazilian state.

RS Infrastructure and Logistics Secretary Daniel Andrade said May 10 that Gov. Yeda Crusius launched a program in the past month to make RS a center of national and international investment in clean, renewable energy technology.

�We have the challenge to promote the growth of Rio Grande do Sul with small enterprises such as this that enters operation today,� Andrade said.

The Engevix group developed the Esmeralda project on the Bernardo Jose River at Pinhal da Serra and Barracao along the border with Santa Catarina State. The 71 million reais (US$33.8 million) project was financed by Brazil’s national development bank, Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Economico e Social (BNDES).

Esmeralda qualified under the national incentive program for alternative power producers, Programa de Incentivo as Fontes Alternativas de Energia Eletrica (Proinfa). Proinfa project sponsors have access to subsidized financing from BNDES and will sell power to national utility Eletrobras for 20 years.

Construction begins at 67-MW Monjolinho

Project developer Engevix also announced that construction has begun on the 67-MW Monjolinho hydroelectric project on the Passo Fundo River. State environmental regulatory Fundacao Estadual de Protecao Ambiental (Fepam) granted an installation license for the project in March. (HNN 4/4/07)

Fepam said the project is valued at 160 million reais (US$77.7 million) and is to require 28 months to build. The agency said project will require a Fepam operating license before it can begin service.

State officials said Monjolinho, with investment of BNDES, will result in 220 million reais (US$104.9 million) in economic benefit to the region. In Brazil’s October 2006 power auction, Engevix developer unit Monel Energetica Monjolinho sold 42 MWa at 122.63 reais (US$56.74) for delivery in January 2011.

Engevix Engenharia S.A., the engineering-procurement-construction contractor, awarded a US$5.8 million contract to GE Energy in 2004 to supply two 35-MW Francis turbines and two 13.8-kV, 37.5-megavolt-ampere vertical axis generators.

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