Consortium wins Belo Monte hydropower project construction rights in Brazil

A nine-company consortium has won the rights to build the 11,200-MW Belo Monte hydroelectric project in Brazil’s Amazon, wire services reported.

Brazil’s electricity regulator Aneel said the Norte Energia consortium won the bidding process for the Amazon dam and hydro project, the Associated Press reported. The hydropower project has faced several delays from opponents to its construction.

According to BN Americas, Norte Energia is led by the Chesf subsidiary of Brazilian federal utility holding group Eletrobras, with a 49.98% stake, and includes companies Queiroz Galvao (10.02%), Galvao Engenharia (3.75%), Mendes Junior (3.75%), Serveng (3.75%), JMalucelli Construtora (9.98%), Contern Construcoes (3.755%), Cetenco Engenharia (5%) and Gaia Energia e Participacoes (10.02%).

The consortium offered the lowest power rate of 77.97 reais/MWh (US$44.43). The price ceiling established by the government was 83 reais/MWh.

The winning consortium is led by state-controlled Companhia Hidro Eletrica do Sao Francisco, wire reports indicate.

The bidding for the Belo Monte dam, to be built on the Xingu River, was halted three times before a final appeal by the government allowed the auction’s winner to be announced.

The hydropower project is expected to begin producing electricity in 2015, and the ministry has estimated the plant will cost around 20 billion reais (US$11.2 billion).

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