Norte Energia to kick off Belo Monte construction in June

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Brazil's Norte Energia consortium will kick off construction works at the 11.2GW Belo Monte hydro this month, a spokesperson for the group told BNamericas.

"The consortium is going to pay for the final environmental license just issued by [environmental protection agency] Ibama in the coming days and, after that, works are set to be launched."

On June 1, Ibama issued the final installation license for the project.

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In a statement, Ibama said Norte Energia will have to invest 100mn reais (US$63mn) in environmental conservation projects in the area surrounding the hydro.

Belo Monte will be built on the Xingu river, in the Amazon region. It will be the world's third largest hydro plant and the second largest in Brazil, after the 14GW Itaipú Brazilian-Paraguayan plant.

The Norte Energia consortium is led by state-run utility Eletrobras Chesf, which holds a 49.98% stake. Other participants include Queiroz Galvão (10.02%), Galvão Engenharia (3.75%), Cetenco Engenharia (5%), Mendes Júnior (3.75%), Serveng (3.75%), J Malucelli (9.98%), Contern (3.75%) and Gaia Energia (10.02%).

Norte Energia won the rights to build and operate Belo Monte in an auction held in April 2010.

Investment in the project has been pegged at some 25bn reais. Brazilian national development bank BNDES will finance up to 80%.

Belo Monte is expected to come online in 2015.