Consortium wins bid for Belo Monte hydropower project transmission lines

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The IE Belo Monte Consortium has been awarded a contract to construct transmission lines associated with Brazil's 11.2-GW Belo Monte hydropower plant.

The group, which includes State Grid (51%), Eletronorte (24.5%) and Furnas (24.5%) will be responsible for building the 800 kV, 2,092-km-long line that will cost an estimated US$5 billion and create more than 15,000 jobs.

"We succeeded in uniting the expertise of three large companies with recognized construction, operation, maintenance and development in design technology," Eletrobras president Jose da Costa Carvalho Neto said.

The transmission line will stretch from Belo Monte across four Brazilian states -- Para, Tocantins, Goias and Minas Gerais -- delivering power generated at the hydroelectric project to the country's southeast.

"It is a project full of complex challenges, but we believe the expertise and knowledge of our teams," Eletronorte CEO Josiah Matos de Araujo said.

Furnas CEO Flavio Ducat said his company will apply the knowledge it gained in constructing transmission lines for Brazil's 14-GW Itaipu hydroelectric plant.

"It is important to meet the growing demand and allow for the greater exchange of energy between regions of the country," Ducat said.

Work is expected to take between 44 and 46 months.

Belo Monte is being developed by Norte Energia along the Xingu River. The plant will be the world's third-largest once completed.

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