Model agreement to fund development near Brazil hydro projects

Brazilian officials have signed a first-of-its-kind agreement providing 5 million reais (US$2.6 million) for sustainable development around two major hydroelectric projects.

Acting Mines and Energy Minister Nelson Hubner signed the agreement with officials of the Inter-American Development Bank, local groups, and the operators of the two hydro projects, 1,293-MW Serra da Mesa and 471.6-MW Cana Brava.

Serra da Mesa is operated by Brazilian utility CPFL Energia and federal utility Furnas Centrais Eletricas on the Tocantins River in Goais State. It was completed in 1998. Cana Brava is operated by power generator Tractebel Energia, also on the Tocantins in Goais. It went on line in 2002.

The agreement creates a private fund and a 42-month work plan in which nine communities in the project areas are to receive technical and financial support for projects of sustainable development in the areas.

�Our expectation is that this first experience serves as a model and that similar actions are adopted in different regions of the country,� Hubner said.

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