The world's largest operational hydroelectric dam, Itaipu Plant announced that starting next Monday, May 18, it will open its spillway to help Paraguay and Argentina, which are suffering from a drought and hence having problems transporting their grain harvest.
Below the point where the power plant is, the Paraná River is very low, thus impairing cargo transportation via this route. The measure was a decision made by the Brazilian and Paraguayan chancelleries but it will also benefit Argentina.
The initial opening of the spillway is expected to last 12 days. According to the plant, there will be no loss for energy production, since the demand requested from Itaipu remains low due to the economic slowdown.
According to the statement, for more than a month, the Brazilian, Paraguayan and Argentine governments have been negotiating the opening of the spillway, but initially, the hydroelectric reservoir was not at its normal level, which is 219 meters above sea level. Since last week, the level has returned to normal and is now at 219.27 meters.
The plant also stated that before the opening of the spillway it had already gradually increased power generation to serve Argentina. With this increase, the increase in water that passed through the turbines, at around a thousand cubic meters more per second, was already contributing to mitigate the effects of the drought just below the plant.