Posts Tagged ‘Hydropower’


More investment in infrastructure

February 22, 2010

Madeira river, in the Amazon, where Jirau dam is under construction

A study released today by BNDES, the main federal bank responsible for financing infrastructure projects, reveals that Brazil will increase its investments in power dams, highways, railways, ports, telecommunications and sanitation. According to daily paper Folha de S. Paulo, around R$ 274 billion (151 billion dollars or 111 euros) should be invested between 2010 and 2013, 37.3% more than the volume spent between 2005 and 2008. BNDES didn’t publicize the investments made last year, during the global financial crisis.
These resources will finance such projects as the rocket train that should connect Rio and São Paulo at a cost of R$ 34.6 billion (19.1 billion dollars or 14 billion euros) in the next ten  years. It should also finance the hydro power dams of Santo Antonio and Jirau (6.4 gigawatts combined capacity), that are already under construction in Rondônia state, in the Amazon region, close to Bolívia, and the controversial Belo Monte power dam, in the state of Pará, also in the Amazon. With an estimated capacity of 11.3 gigawatts, Belo Monte is meant to be the second biggest hydro power plant in the country, after Itaipu, in the Southern state of Paraná. This project has been dragging for over 30 years due to the many environmental and social issues it raises, and the fierce opposition of environmentalists, indigenous leaders and singer/composer Sting. Its costs are estimated in R$ 16 billion (8.8 billion dollars or 6.5 billion euros) – but here, again there is controversy. Many Brazilian entrepreneurs have already indicated that this forecast is too conservative at it will probably cost twice as much.