Construction complete at Brazil’s 243.2-MW Sao Salvador

Utility group GDF Suez reports the completion of construction of the 243.2-MW Sao Salvador hydroelectric project on the Tocantins River in Brazil’s Tocantins State.

The France-based group said December 2 that construction of Sao Salvador was completed for the purposes of the concession it received in 2001. In November, Brazil’s environmental regulator issued an operational license to a developer subsidiary of GDF Suez’s Tractebel Energia, allowing start-up of the project. (HNN 11/20/08)

GDF Suez said Sao Salvador required an investment of 307 million euros (US$389 million). The project committed to sell 148 average MW of energy, valued at 2 billion euros (US$2.5 billion), in a 2006 power auction. (HNN 10/12/06)

“The construction of the Sao Salvador Dam is symbolic of our industrial development in Brazil,” GDF Suez Chairman Gerard Mestrallet said. “… With forecasted growth for the country’s electricity demand at over 5 percent annually until 2015, the group would like to continue profitable and sustainable growth through new hydroelectric projects, acquisition of existing production assets and development in alternative renewable resources such as biomass.”

Sao Salvador was the first hydroelectric project to be financed under Brazil’s new Growth Acceleration Program (PAC), receiving 570.2 million reais (US$277 million) in financing from Brazil’s development bank, Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Economico e Social (BNDES). (HNN 3/23/07)

Its new operating license includes operation of a 230-kilovolt transmission line, extending 75.3 kilometers to link substations at Sao Salvador in Tocantins and Cana Brava in Goais State.

In 2002, Tractebel Energia awarded a US$162 million contract to Odebrecht of Brazil to build Sao Salvador. Voith Siemens Hydro Power Generation was commissioned to supply turbines and related equipment. Tractebel had won a concession to build the project and operate it for 35 years in a 2001 auction by Brazil’s Agencia Nacional de Energia Eletrica.

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