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Test operations at Brazil's 334-MW Simplicio hydro project expected in early 2011

Brazilian state-run power company Eletrobras Furnas expects to launch test operations at the 334-MW Simplicio hydro project in the first quarter of 2011, a spokesperson for the firm told wire services.

Test operations were initially scheduled for October, with commercial operations set for December 2010. A delay in the granting of the environmental license pushed back operations, the spokesperson told Business News Americas.

The 2.2 billion-real (US$1.2 billion) hydroelectric facility is being developed and will be operated by Furnas alone, wire reports indicate.

Last year, Brazilian federal development bank BNDES granted Furnas a 1 billion real loan for the project.
Simplicio is located in the southeastern state of Minas Gerais.

In other news, Brazil's Sao Paulo state water and power company Emae has started the construction of its 25-MW Pirapora hydroelectric power project, a spokesperson for the firm told wire services.

The hydro plant is being built on the Tiete River in the southeastern state of Sao Paulo.

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