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Brazil inaugurates six small hydro plants

One of Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's last duties as Brazil's president was to inaugurate six small hydropower stations in the central state of Goias as part of a strategy to boost the development of the country's interior, according to a report by news agency EFE.

The six hydro projects have a total cost of 2.9 billion reais (US$1.72 billion) and will have a combined capacity of 645 MW, reports indicate.

During the inauguration, Mines and Energy Minister Marcio Zimmerman said hydroelectric energy "is much more than a renewable energy" source because it also "brings progress and development to the region."

According to Brazil officials, the construction of these small hydroelectric stations aims to boost the electricity capacity of the less economically developed cities in Brazil's interior and thereby attract more outside investment, EFE reported.

In other news, Brazilian utility sector regulator Aneel has authorized commercial operations at one of the two generator units at the 19.4-MW Figueiropolis small hydropower plant in the center-western state of Mato Grosso, wire services reported.

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