Brazil state issues construction license for 361-MW Maua

The environmental agency of Brazil's Parana State issued a construction license March 24 for the 361-MW Maua hydroelectric project to be built on the Tibaji River in Parana State.

President Victor Hugo Burko of Instituto Ambiental do Parana signed the license for Maua's development consortium, Consorcio Energetico Cruzeiro do Sul. The consortium includes utilities Companhia Paranaense de Energia Eletrica (Copel), with 51 percent, and Centrais Eletricas do Sul do Brasil (Eletrosul), a unit of Brazilian federal utility Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras S/A.

Last December, Copel's board of directors authorized the 2008 investment of 107.3 million reais (US$59.4 million) in Maua. (HNN 12/31/07) Copel said the total project would cost nearly 1 billion reais (US$578 million).

Copel President Rubens Ghilardi said it is important for the project to proceed because terms of Maua's development concession included a commitment to begin selling power to 24 distribution utilities for 30 years beginning in 2011. The Copel-Eletrosul consortium won the Maua concession in 2006 with a bid price of 112.96 reais (US$52.27) per MWh for sale of 192 average MW.

�We have the undelayable commitment to the country to place the electricity produced by the new plant at the disposal of consumers from 2011,� Ghilardi said. �This expectation cannot be frustrated.�

Copel said, on receipt of the construction license, Consorcio Energetico Cruzeiro do Sul would issue an order to commence civil engineering and to begin organizing the site office and crew lodging. Construction is expected to create 1,530 direct jobs and 720 indirect ones.

Maua includes an 85-meter-tall, 700-meter-long roller-compacted-concrete dam forming a reservoir of 84 square kilometers. Consorcio Energetico President Sergio Lamy Luiz said programs costing 120 million reais (US$69.7 million) are under way to compensate 378 affected families, to rescue artifacts from six archaeological sites, and to carry out other social and environmental activity.

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