April bid date set for Belo Monte hydro project in Brazil

An auction to sell the rights to build and operate the Belo Monte hydroelectric project in Brazil's Amazon will take place on April 20, the Mines and Energy Ministry reported.

The 11,200-MW hydropower project is expected to begin producing electricity in 2015, and the ministry has estimated the plant will cost around 20 billion reais (US$11.2 billion).

The auction previously has faced delays which stemmed largely from difficulties in securing an environmental license for the project. (HydroWorld 11/19/09)

Brazil’s environmental authority, Ibama, recently issued a preliminary license for the Belo Monte hydro project, subject to a number of conditions covering environmental concerns and other issues. (HydroWorld 2/4/10)

Officials recently said the cost of constructing the Belo Monte hydro project had jumped US$2 billion because of new environmental measures.

Belo Monte, on the Xingu River in the state of Para, is Brazil’s second-largest hydro project after the 14-GW Itaipu plant in southern Brazil.

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