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River diversion begins at Santo Antonio hydropower project in Brazil

Diversion of Brazil's Madeira River has begun as part of the construction of the Santo Antonio hydropower project, wire services reported.

Brazilian state-run power company Eletrobras Furnas said the operation will mean the start of the gradual filling of the hydro plant's reservoir, Business News Americas reported.

Furnas said the 3,150-MW hydro project will start commercial operations by December.

Furnas holds a 39 percent stake in the Madeira Energia group that controls Santo Antônio Energia, owner of the hydroelectric power plant.

Madeira Energia also includes Odebrecht with a 1 percent stake, its subsidiary Odebrecht Investimentos em Infra-estrutura (18 percent), Andrade Gutierrez Participacoes (12 percent) and local power company Cemig) (10 percent).

In other news, Brazil's environmental regulator, Ibama, has issued the installation license for the 373-MW Santo Antonio do Jari hydropower project, wire services reported.

Consortium ECE Participacoes is behind the hydroelectric power project, which will be built on the Jari River on the border of states Amapa and Para.

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