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Montevideo, September 19th 2018 - 11:12 UTC

Work Gets Underway on Amazonian Hydro Project

Sunday, January 30th 2011 - 21:16 UTC
Full article 3 comments
A license to build the world’s third largest dam in Brazil was approved by the Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA), despite 30 years of public opposition A license to build the world’s third largest dam in Brazil was approved by the Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA), despite 30 years of public opposition

Building will now begin on what will be the world's third-largest hydroelectric dam after Ibama, Brazil's environment agency, gave the go-ahead for the controversial $17 billion (£10.6 billion) project.

Ibama issued licenses to Norte Energia, the consortium in charge of the 11GW Belo Monte project, to clear 238 hectares (588 acres) of forest land around the Amazonian tributary Xingu.

Licences still have to be granted to actually build the plant, but Norte Energia, comprised of state-run utility Eletrobras, Brazilian pension fund Petros, and several local construction companies, expects the 6km-long (3.7 miles) dam to be producing energy by 2015.

Contracts for the dam were signed in August, 30 years after the project was originally conceived. A series of celebrity-backed global protests over the potential damage to the environment and people living in the region had seen the idea abandoned in the 1990s.

Former president Lula da Silva even opposed the plans before changing his mind and approving the project saying it was necessary for development and job creation – a mindset newly elected president Dilma Rousseff is thought to share.

The dam is likely to displace around 30,000 local inhabitants by flooding a 500-square kilometre area and partially drying up around 100 kilometres of the Xingu river.
 

 

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  • briton

    more destruction for the sake of profit,
    the rich get richer, and the poor gets poorer,

    Jan 30th, 2011 - 09:55 pm 0
  • GeoffWard

    If you knew anything about Brasil you would appreciate the need for reliable energy production and reliable grid.

    I appreciate that there is a loss of forest, local diversion of a big river and people relocation.

    What you get is not just a power plant, you get a new freshwater fishing industry in the impounded river-reservoir, a chance to build replacement communities with REAL infrastructure, and local investment funds to give the local and indigenous people PROPER education and training.

    This, and similar Brasilian hydroelectric schemes, are totally necessary in the process of national development towards first world status.

    And, in passing, it is my belief that the remaining oil reserves of the world are much too valuable to simply burn - these geological hydrocarbons are the essential chemical feed-stock for so many commodities, textiles and secondary products that 'define' living in a modern world. No hydroelectric energy means Brasilian pre-salt is used for burning - what a waste!

    Jan 31st, 2011 - 02:16 pm 0
  • briton

    I understand what you mean Its called progress,
    but try telling that to the thousands who will lose out,
    sadly they wont see it that way ,

    Jan 31st, 2011 - 03:17 pm 0
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