MPF launches inquiry into US$1.5bn Tucuruí transmission line in Brazil's Amazon

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Monday, March 4, 2013

A Brazilian public prosecutor has launched a public inquiry into environmental impacts of the 3bn-real (US$1.5bn) Tucuruí transmission line linking remote Amazonian communities to the national power grid.

The action, filed by prosecutor Luciano Andrade Macedo, will investigate the effects of the project on the Mindu ecological corridor in Manaus, Brazil's public ministry (MPF) said in a statement.

Macedo alleges trees were removed in the Mindu national park, defying obligations outlined in the project's environmental license.

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Manaus' municipal environmental authority Semmas has been given 20 days to provide MPF with a copy of the process that led to the issue of the license.

State-run power company Eletrobras (NYSE: EBR), which is responsible for the works, has also been asked to provide information regarding the project within 20 days, MPF added.

According to the federal government, the Tucuruí transmission line is the largest ever built in Brazil's north.

It will boast 1,800km of 500kV lines and interconnect eight new substations integrating the states of Amazonas and Amapá.

The government says the connection will save the country 2bn reais a year in generation costs and reduce the use of coal for thermoelectric generation by 3Mt/y.