Estreito hydro project in Brazil to begin test operations in December

Brazil's 1,087-MW Estreito hydro plant will begin test operations in December, a spokesperson for the consortium building the hydropower project told wire services.

Commercial operations for the hydropower project would begin in January or February 2011, project officials told Business News Americas.

Estreito is being built on the Tocantins River on the border between Tocantins and Maranhao states. The project sold power in the October 2007 auction for delivery in 2012. The project is expected to cost 3.6 billion reais (US$2 billion), the mines and energy ministry said previously.

Brazilian miner Vale, US aluminum producer Alcoa, construction firm Camargo Correa and European utility giant GDF Suez hold stakes in the project.

The hydro project is included in the Brazilian government's growth acceleration plan known as PAC.

In other news, Brazil's 210-MW Serra do Facao hydropower plant is projected to come online within three months, the president of project developer Serra do Facao Energia consortium told wire services.

The Serra do Facao hydro project initially was planned to come online in October 2010.

The plant is located in the Brazil's center-western state of Goias.

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