Brazil utility starts final unit of 180.5-MW Mascarenhas

Energias do Brasil S.A. (EDB) announced October 4 the fourth and final unit of the Mascarenhas hydroelectric project has gone on line, boosting the project to 180.5 MW from 131 MW.

Originally built in the 1970s on Rio Doce in Espirito Santo State, Mascarenhas was upgraded at a cost of 65 million reais (US$30.5 million) for the fourth turbine-generator.

EDB, a unit of Portuguese utility Energias de Portugal, said it already has secured a 30-year power sales contract for the new unit’s output at a price of 115.98 reais (US$54.53) per megawatt-hour.

The Mascarenhas start up follows the recent full commercial operation of the 452-MW Peixe Angical hydroelectric project on the Tocantins River. (HNN 10/3/06)

�This is an important advance in the doubling of our installed capacity,� EDB President Antonio Martins da Costa said. �With the completion of the fourth unit of Mascarenhas, our capacity will arrive at 1,018 MW.�

The 25-MW Sao Joao project also is to go on line in Espirito Santo in late 2006. Additionally, EDB said it would invest 105 million reais (US$49 million) in construction of the 30-MW Santa Fe project in Espirito Santo State. Santa Fe is to begin operation in early 2009, providing assured power of 16 MW.

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