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Brazil delays Belo Monte auction

An auction for the 11,200-MW Belo Monte hydroelectric project will be delayed once again amid criticism of the project’s environmental impact, according to Reuters.

Brazil’s Mines and Energy Ministry scheduled the auction for Dec. 21. (HydroWorld 11/2/09)

“We can say that the auction for Belo Monte is viable for January,” said Ministry Secretary Marcio Zimmermann.

The delays stem largely from difficulties in securing an environmental license for the project, Reuters reported.

The Belo Monte project will be built on the Xingu River and is expected to begin commercial operations in 2014. It will be Brazil’s second-largest power plant behind the Itaipu hydroelectric complex in southern Brazil.

Last week, Brazil suffered a major blackout that left nearly half of the nation without power. Officials attributed the accident to short-circuits at a substation, which cut power to transmission lines serving the giant Itaipu complex on the border of Paraguay.

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