Brazil's Belo Monte capacity hits 3.2GW

Friday, April 21, 2017

Brazil's Norte Energia has raised capacity at the Belo Monte hydroelectric plant to 3.2GW after bringing online its 11th turbine.

The startup of the 611MW unit at the plant's main powerhouse means Belo Monte has now reached more than a quarter of the 11.233GW earmarked for the project.

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Latin America's largest power generation project, Belo Monte is expected to become fully operational in January 2019, requiring total investment of 33.8bn reais (around US$10bn).

Located on the Xingu river in the northern state of Pará, Belo Monte began dispatching electricity to Brazil's grid last April.

The project has been beset by strikes, community protests, vandalism, licensing delays and court-ordered stoppages since construction began in 2011.

The Norte Energia consortium includes state-run utility Eletrobras and its subsidiaries Eletronorte and Chesf. Other investors are Neoenergia, Petros, Funcef, Light, J Malucelli Energia, Vale and Sinobras.