Brazil’s 362-MW Maua hydropower project gets permit after 11-year delay

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Brazil’s 362-MW Maua hydroelectric plant has been granted permission to operate more than a decade after a permit application was first submitted.

The Maua hydropower project, owned by Brazilian consortium Energetico Cruzeiro do Sul, will be located on the Tibagi River in Parana state.

Permitting of the US$600 million project was delayed due to requests from the Institute of the Environment and Natural Resources (IBAMA), the federal public prosecutor’s office and the Instituto do Patrimonio Historico e Artistico Nacional (Iphan) for further impact studies.

Parana’s environmental regulator, Environmental Institution of Parana (IAP), says Energetico Cruzeiro do Sul must still complete a number of conditions to maintain the license, including monthly operational reports, analyses of wetland restoration efforts and a clear definition of the reservoir’s legal boundaries.

The consortium consists of Parana state utility Companhia Paranaense de Energia Eletrica (Copel) and Eletrobras subsidiary Eletrosul. last reported on the Maua project in September 2009, when Copel announced the first phase of its construction had been completed.

IBAMA also recently granted an operating permit for the 3,750-MW Jirau hydropower plant, which is located in Rondonia state.

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