Friday, 27 August 2010
President Lula signs contract for 11,233 MW hydroelectric dam
President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has signed a contract for the construction of a new hydroelectric dam in Brazil's Amazon region. Talking about the project President Lula said that it would have been 'impossible' to build a hydroelectric dam of such scale several years ago, and that the project 'is less aggressive than the original one' approved back in February this year.
Brazil's Minister of Mines and Energy, Marcio Zimmermann, said that the Bela Monte complex, to be built near Xingu River in the northern state of Para, will 'play an important role in the development' of the region. Opponents of the Bela Monte complex say that the project will displace around 50,000 Indians. The claim has been counteracted by the president of the Bela Monte enterprise, Carlos Nascimento, who said that the people displaced 'will be duly compensated'.
The contract to build the complex was awarded to a consortium led by state-owned Companhia Hidro Eletrica. Once completed the 11,233 MW Belo Monte dam will be the world's third largest after China's Three Gorges and the Itaipu complex, and is expected to cost R$20 billion.
Source: Sify News
For more news and expert analysis about Brazil, please see Brazil Focus.